Author: Alwin Antony
The first ultra-fast charging station in India was opened on December 14, 2023 in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) by Audi.
The ultra-fast charging station was designed and developed in partnership with ChargeZone. The charging station has a whopping 450kW capacity to supply 360kW of power to an EV and employs a 500 amp liquid-cooled gun to guarantee optimal performance and efficiency.
Here is a glance at the ultra fast charging station and its capabilities
- It is the first 450kW ultra-fast charging “e-tron hub” in India, with a powerful gun that can deliver up to 360kW/500 amps
- Equipped with five charging bays and an integrated lounge accessible around the clock
- The charging station is powered entirely by renewable energy and solar roof panels for auxiliary electrical needs
- Audi e-tron owners will receive free charging until March 2024
- ChargeZone conceptualised and developed the hub
- The exact location is at MMRDA Parking, G Block, Next to The Capital, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai 400051
Now that we know the basic information on the charging station let us look at the other aspects.
How Does The Charging Station Help Audi?
A state-of-the-art charging station of this capacity that too in a hot location is an expensive affair. So the question to be asked is what is motivating Audi to go such a stretch?
I am convinced that Audi is not trying to sell their cars with these initiatives, instead they are trying to sell the idea of owning an Audi and the experience comes with that. Currently With six EVs in India, the Audi Q8 50 e-tron, Audi Q8 55 e-tron, Audi Q8 Sportback 50 e-tron, Audi Q8 Sportback 55 e-tron, Audi e-tron GT, and Audi RS e-tron GT Audi India presently boasts the largest premium EV portfolio.
Now you might ask so what? The answer is a bit tricky. Let me explain
In the world of ICE vehicles, the expectations and concerns of a buyer for an entry-level vehicle and a buyer looking for a luxury car are worlds apart. Here the first one cares more about the mileage, maintenance and overall expenses associated with owning a car whereas the second one is least bothered about those and emphasises more on the sheer pleasure of driving, luxury and you know the rest of the list.
But in the case of a luxury EV, the buyer will be concerned about the range because charging an EV is not as easy as filling gas for an ICE( at least for now). To tackle this, companies can do 2 things. One is to increase the range and the second one is to make the EV charging experience as pleasant as possible and Audi is doing both.
Now, Moving on to the Audi strategy.
Longer Range & Extended Luxury
Right now, the Audi Q8 55 e-tron with a 114 kWh battery has the biggest battery on a production car in India. In the fast-charging e-tron hub, these batteries can be charged from 20% to 80% in just 26 minutes.
In keeping with Audi’s emphasis on sustainability, the “e-tron hub” for ultra-fast charging is entirely run on renewable energy and has a solar roof to support electrical needs, such as lighting the hub.
The ultra-fast charging station is made to offer complete peace of mind and a hassle-free charging experience. If an e-tron owner charges their car at the hub, premium coffee coupons are made available to them. Owners of e-tron vehicles may unwind in the lounge at the “e-tron hub,” while their cars are being charged, thus the car and the driver get some refreshment.
Audi says that there will be trained people at the hub who are on hand to provide any support that may be required. Owners of Audi e-trons may easily find the ultra-fast charging “e-tron hub” by using the “myAudi Connect” app to get information about it.
Audi India unveiled “Charge my Audi” on the myAudiConnect app earlier this year. This one-stop-shop provides Audi e-tron users access to several EV charging partners through a single app. “Charge my Audi” is a first-in-class initiative that improves customer experience. Aargo EV Smart, Charge Zone, Relux Electric, LionCharge, and Zeon Charging are the current five charging partners Audi has in the app.
The app is powered by Numocity Technologies’ eMSP roaming solution. Customers who purchase an Audi e-tron will get free network-wide charging (apart from Zeon charging) till March 2024. Owners of Audi e-trons can already access more than 1,000 charging stations on “Charge my Audi,” and additional locations will be added over the coming months.
To improve the convenience of ownership, Audi India has installed more than 140 chargers in 73 Indian cities, including all Audi India dealerships, workshop facilities, and a few dealerships under the SAVWIPL Group brand that are strategically placed along the nation’s major highways.
With all the efforts from the Audi, we can say that they are not just talking the talk but walking the walk. The myAudiConnect app and the latest fast charging station all tie perfectly with the commitment Audi has to sustainability and as I said, they are not selling you an EV instead they are selling you an experience with the lounge or the coffee vouchers and whatnot.
I see the start of a very good culture here, if more companies are ready to follow the path Audi is exploring now, it can facilitate even more intense penetration of EVs into the market and gradually, the perception of EVs will change and the EV lifestyle would be normal.