• Unveiling of the first Swiss Audi charging hub in Zurich
  • Unique quick-charging concept with its own infrastructure and sustainable storage made of used car batteries
  • Uses green energy when the local power grid is insufficient
  • Four high-power charging points with up to 320 kW of output

Zurich is the second destination worldwide to have its own Audi charging hub. The concept is based on ‘charging cubes’ – modular containers that, in addition to a quick-charging infrastructure, contain refurbished lithium-ion batteries (second-life batteries) made from disassembled development vehicles. Consequently, the charging hub requires no elaborate, expensive infrastructure with a high-voltage grid and transformers, but it is more than just a charging station, offering a sustainable quick-charging infrastructure where the local power grid would prove insufficient. The four charging points at the entrance to Messe Zürich’s parking garage each output up to 320 kW. This electrifying event was celebrated with numerous guests, media representatives, Audi ambassadors and Audi experts – true to its motto “One small step for Audi, one giant leap for the sustainable mobility of the future”.

For years, Audi has proven “Vorsprung durch Technik” stands for not only the highest engineering artistry, state-of-the-art design and digital experiences, but also for new holistic mobility solutions and the Audi charging hub is the latest example of this. Following the successful pilot phase of the first Audi charging hub in the world, in Nuremberg, the second Audi charging hub opened at the beginning of November 2022 in Zurich – in the vibrant banking district of Oerlikon, directly in front of Messe Zürich’s parking garage.

Quick-charging in the city

The ceremonial unveiling of the first site in Switzerland kicked off at ‘the square’ at Zurich Airport. AMAG’s competence center for electromobility was the ideal starting point for an electrifying journey into the world of high-power charging. Ralph Hollmig, the head of the Audi charging hub project at AUDI AG, ramped up excitement with introductionary information about the new hub: “The Audi charging hub pilot project in Nuremberg proved that our unique concept has its finger on the pulse at all times. The urban charging concept is for city drivers, and it offers them an efficient alternative to charging from home.”

In urban areas, finding a free charging station can be a challenge; quick-charging opportunities with correspondingly high charging performance, like those on the autobahns, are nearly nonexistent in urban areas. Audi is remedying this by allowing drivers of electric cars who don’t have the opportunity to charge at home to charge their vehicles in a way that’s easy and significantly faster than other charging infrastructure.

A heart made of second-life batteries

The heart of the Audi charging hub is made of charging cubes – modular containers that, in addition to a quick-charging infrastructure, contain used lithium-ion batteries created from disassembled Audi test vehicles. Martin Wosnitza, Head of Business Innovation and the Audi project leader for the Audi charging hub in Switzerland, explains: “The second-life batteries serve as buffer storage, the advantage of which is the fact that we don’t need an elaborate, expensive infrastructure with a high-voltage grid and transformers. The hub only requires minor power demands from the local power grid. The Audi charging hub is in a position to bring a sustainable quick-charging infrastructure with second-life battery storage to all the places where the power grid would prove insufficient.”

Recharging for man and machine

At the site in Zurich, there are a total of four covered high-power charging (HPC) points with up to 320 kW. Its storage capacity amounts to 1.05 MWh – comparable to the storage capacity of 11 Audi e-tron 55s – and it can supply power for up to 60 electric vehicles per day. The hub also uses 100-percent renewable energy, while a photovoltaic system on the roof over the charging cubes supplies additional green energy.

Thanks to its modular system, the hub requires little space, can be individually adapted to its surroundings, and it be dismantled later on – in short, it’s a tailor-made quick-charging solution for urban locations. The charging hubs are available in a variety of sizes without much preliminary work or elaborate construction. This flexibility allowed the Audi charging hub in Zurich to forgo a lounge, because the immediate vicinity has a wide range of services. Two large 55-inch screens provide essential information, in addition to tips about maximising your charge.

A crucial component of this variable, compact concept is the swivel arm that’s a modified version of the one at the pilot location in Nuremberg. With this, cars can be charged across the entire width of the space with exceptional accessibility – regardless of where the manufacturer put the charging port. The operating displays at the charging points are height-adjustable, and the areas between the charging cubes and vehicles are wide enough for wheelchair users.

Charging slots booked via app

Audi customers can use the myAudi app to book an individual charging slot in advance for 45 minutes at no extra cost. Reservations are available for the first 15 minutes, after which they’ll be canceled. The Audi charging hub can be used by all brands of electric vehicles that are equipped with a CCS charging port, which is common in Europe.

Outstanding innovation

For the premium brand with the four rings, the Audi charging hub marks another step in its evolution toward sustainable and individualized mobility, and it has also been presented with international accolades.

Head of Marketing Katharina Momani proudly said: “The innovative Audi charging hub in Nuremberg was presented with the renowed Red Dot Award in 2022 in the ‘Brands & Communication Design’ category, and it also won the ABC Best of Best Award in 2022 in the ‘Mobility & Innovation’ category. We’re convinced that we’ll continue this success with the refined concept in Zurich.”

The jury for the global design and innovation award explained: “Thanks to the Audi charging hub, charging electric cars is now as easy as visiting a gas station, only more convenient. It’s a clean and well-designed charging concept that factors in not only technology, but also people.”

The Audi skysphere concept will be on display until the afternoon of Monday, November 14.
More information about the Audi charging hub can be found here.