Audi’s Luxury Charging Hub Expanding—Just Not Here

audi sq8 sportback e tron static photo, colour ultra blue metallic
Could Audi’s Charging Hub Work Here?Audi
  • Audi expands reservation-only charging hub concept to Berlin, after successful tests in Nurumberg and Zurich starting in 2021.

  • The charging hub employs used batteries from Audi test vehicles to store power, thus requiring a minimal connection to the grid and less hardware during the build phase.

  • The automaker plans to expand the charging hub concept to more cities, after observing a 70% customer return rate at one of its existing hubs.

A reservation-only luxury charging hub with a work and rest area inside may have seemed like a one-off concept at first, when the automaker opened the first one in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2021, but the idea is gaining momentum.


The automaker has just opened its third charging hub near a Frischeparadies supermarket and bistro in Berlin, powered by second-life batteries. The batteries themselves—usually sourced from Audi prototype EVs that had been dismantled following a testing phase—draw power from the supermarket on a load- and needs-oriented basis during off-peak hours.

Audi has previously showcased this cube-based charging system that sips power from an existing grid connection, requiring relatively little electrical infrastructure work.

"Our dynamic load control system enables us to shift our energy demands to a time of day when Frischeparadies is using less power from the grid," said Elias Hammer, the Audi Manager responsible for the rollout in Berlin and energy system integration for the Audi charging hub.

audi q8 sportback 55 e tron quattro, static photo, colour madeira brown metallicaudi sq8 sportback e tron, static photo, colour ultra blue metallic
The hub uses batteries from dismantled EVs for energy storage, allowing the hub to collect power during off-peak hours and not rely on a grid connection directly to charge the EVs themselves.Audi

As a part of this effort Audi is also testing out something else: Premium charging hubs owned by automakers, rather than station builders and operators, third-party commercial businesses, or fleet operators. Until now, it has largely been Tesla in North America that has invested in building its own network of charging stations for the benefit of its owners—albeit minus an airline-style business lounge for owners.

Ingolstadt is betting that there could be a market for such an EV charging hub concept.

Audi notes that its pilot hub in Nuremberg, which features a 2150-sq-ft lounge and six charging points, has a 70% customer return rate since opening in December 2021. The hub provides 36 charging sessions per day on average, with customers having integrated their visits into their routines, but has also recorded up to 62 charging sessions on a peak day.

The second hub in Zurich, Switzerland, is seeing similar levels of demand. The automaker notes that about half of hub visitors arrive in vehicles from the Audi brand.

audi charging hub lounge area
The lounge area of the pilot hub in

"Berlin is yet another example of the success of our smart charging concept," said Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager. "In this way, we will manage all hub locations as efficiently and sustainably as possible. We are working on energy optimization. In the future, we can even imagine using smart trading to buy electricity from the energy exchange. This also means, for example, that we buy electricity from renewable sources when it's affordable."

Of course, a reservation-only charging hub requires some mild planning, a predictable schedule, and some free time in one's weekly routine, with the hub aimed at EV owners who might not always have access to a charging point at home.

Could this reservation-only EV charging hub concept work stateside, or are EV stations with no reservation requirements a better fit for the US? Let us know what you think.