Motoring News

Audi charging ahead with battery of EV top-up points

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Audi SA has partnered with GridCars to install fast-charging stations nationwide and so becomes the first battery-car brand to invest in such tech at public sites.

The 150kW public chargers will be the first such in SA to provide up to 150kW of direct current (DC) charge to electric vehicles: for instance, an Audi e-tron 55 (95kWh battery) will charge from 10% to 90% in about 30 minutes.

Image: Audi SA

Audi will invest in setting up 70 charge connectors across 33 sites to expand SA’s current public re-charging network in South Africa and it will be available for all electric vehicles.

The public stations will offer all EV drivers – regardless of brand – charging technology as part of Audi’s pre-launch plans for the full e-tron range during the first quarter of 2022, recognising that the brand can make EV adoption easy.

”Investing in the country’s charging infrastructure to support this shift to future mobility,” Audi says, ”is critical. We’re committed to an integral role in this transition.”

JUST LIKE A CONVENTIONAL TOP-UP: Audi preparing for the arrival of e-tron cars in South Africa. Image: Supplied

Sascha Sauer, Audi SA’s MD, explained: “We understand, as we prepare for the arrival of the e-tron range, that we have more to do as an automotive brand than simply providing the product.

”We must also enable and partner with those who can empower the transition to an electric future. Our public chargers will be new and incremental to the current EV charging network in SA.”

Installations have already started and will continue through 2022. They include:

  • Four 150kW (DC) ultra-fast charging stations capable of enabling about 340km in 30 minutes and planned for instgallation on routes such as the N1, N2, N3 and N4.
  • Five 80kW (DC) stations for 185km in 30 minutes, also planned for N1, N2, N3 and N4,m of which one will close a long-standing gap (Richmond) between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
  • 24 22kW (AC) fast-charge stations capable of about 100km in an hour at public lifestyle and recreational venues nationwide.
  • 70 connectors will be available at the stations.

Winstone Jordaan, GridCars’ MD, added: ”This partnership and investment with Audi not only expands the network but also upgrade it with more ultra-fast charging opportunities. The possibilities for EV adoption in SA are already positive but through this partnership with Audi SA we are hope to progress the EV journey and tackle challenges of charging, range, and accessibility.”

FULL RANGE WITHIN MONTHS

GridCars has already begun installation of Audi-branded chargers and will carry on through early 2022 in time for the planned retail launch of the Audi e-tron range. The investment will add to recharge stations at the 10 e-tron retailers which will have another 10 50-75kW (DC) chargers with 20 connectors.

A full e-tron model range will be available for sale through the next two months at 10 e-tron outlets nationwide: 55 SUV, 55 Sportback, S Sportback, GT, and RS GT.

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