Audi launches e-tron charging as Honda invests in infrastructure provider

04 February 2019

04 February 2019

Audi’s e-tron Charging Service is going on the grid in ten markets as the company prepares to begin sales of its first electric vehicle (EV).

The Audi e-tron Charging Service is part of a broad-based offering for charging and provides access to the public charging infrastructure in 16 European countries. The first ten will be joined by a further six markets in the first quarter of the year, with eight in Eastern Europe being added later in 2019.

The service brings together more than 72,000 charging points operated by 220 providers. On longer journeys, Audi customers can charge their cars at the high-power IONITY network charging terminals and benefit from special conditions. Additional HPC [high power charging] points operated by other providers round off the e-tron Charging Service for long-distance journeys, the company said in a statement.

To cover individual charging needs, the e-tron Charging Service offers two different tariffs. The ′City’ tariff is aimed primarily at urban commuters. It is available for a basic fee of €4.95 per month. For each charging process, customers then pay €7.95 for AC charging (up to 22kW), and €9.95 for DC charging (up to 50kW), regardless of the charging duration and how much energy is drawn.

For drivers who regularly travel long-distance, Audi recommends the ′Transit’ tariff. This costs €17.95 per month, although a one-year waiver of the basic fee is granted for first-time users.

Honda buys in

Meanwhile, Japanese carmaker Honda has acquired a significant stake in the Berlin-based company Ubitricity, as part of a new financing round.

The company produces mobile metering technology, which can turn items such as street lighting into electric vehicle charging points. This technology would be crucial as EV take-up builds and more charging locations are required to keep them moving.

According to reports, Honda has taken a 15% stake in the company, which was founded in 2008 and currently has 50 employees. Old investors, such as Siemens, EDF Germany, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft and the former Daimler and railway boss Heinz DÜrr, have also put money into the business as part of its latest funding round.

In November, Southwark Council in London had the first of around 60 charging points for residents without access to off-street parking installed by Siemens and ubitricity.

The charging points are installed in street lights and – when the lamp post is positioned too far back from the road – in NAL charging bollards.

Last month, Liberty Global announced that it would be using its telecoms infrastructure to power EV charging points whereas German telecoms provider Deutsche Telekom is already opening its infrastructure to the technology.