The pollution generated by the end-of-life batteries of electric cars (and of all batteries, by the way), and their possible recycling are subjects that regularly raise questions and controversies.

With this new device, Audi will perhaps help to demonstrate that intelligent recycling is possible, by providing motorists driving an electric car with used batteries recovered from its models in the e-tron range.

The all-in-one charging system for is made up of three container-sized blocks, each of which is fitted with four used Audi e-tron battery systems which provide their overall charging capacity of around 700 kW to three charging stations, each with a power of 150 kW, with a storage capacity of around 1.0 MWh. Audi has worked in collaboration with the Swiss energy company ABB to develop this mobile system, which among other things makes it possible to minimize the pressure exerted on the local network, particularly during peak periods of demand.

20 mobile charging sockets available

In detail, each charging container consists of 400 recycled e-tron battery modules, which corresponds to approximately eleven complete batteries. With an overall load capacity of 1.2 MW and a storage capacity of 1.0 MWh, up to eight Audi e-tron can be charged simultaneously with high-power chargers without requiring any form of connection to the network. The 1 meter container offers a total of 20 charging points: eight high-power chargers with a charging capacity of 150 kW each and twelve charging connections of 11 kW. If necessary, the eight high-power chargers can combine their power in four 300 kW charging points in order to fully charge the Audi e-tron GT in 20 minutes thanks to the 800-volt charging technology. The latest generation of these load containers has been developed and built in cooperation with the Austrian company Moon.

Audi indicates that more than 20 other uses of mobile refill containers are planned in 2020 alone (schedule established before the coronavirus crisis). On the other hand, the IONITY charging network is currently testing the use of mobile containers in the setting up of high-power charging parks in Europe.

This “field” charging station had been deployed for the first time at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year. For the event, Audi was transporting guests on a fleet of e-tron electric SUVs, and it was this system that was used to charge cars. The device has therefore already proven itself in a demanding context, with VIP customers, in the mountains and in very low temperatures.

It is likely that with the development of electric mobility, this kind of concept is developing strongly on the part of other manufacturers, and comes to complement other initiatives such as for example the Vehicle to Grid.