Alexander Jakob (r.), Leiter der Werkstrukturplanung Neckarsulm, und Jannik Mastall, Projektverantwortlicher für den Ausbau der Ladeinfrastruktur am Standort vor den neuen Lade-Cubes.

Audi Neckarsulm expands charging infrastructure with the help of second-life batteries

The Neckarsulm site is creating 72 additional charging points for e-vehicles through the use of so-called cubes, which use used lithium-ion batteries to store electricity. The second-life batteries come from dismantled Audi test vehicles.

Two of the cubes feed a total of 48 charging points and expand the charging capacities for employees and visitors to the Neckarsulm site in multi-storey car park 1 in the south-east of the Audi plant. A Cube with a further 24 charging points is located in the car park at the north-eastern boundary of the plant. The second-life batteries come from dismantled Audi test vehicles. The electricity storage units replace the costly installation of a cost-intensive infrastructure with medium-voltage supply lines and transformers.

In each of the three cubes, 198 used battery modules with twelve cells each function as energy storage. The capacity can be expanded. There is room for 132 more modules in each of the cubes. Together, the container cubes at the Neckarsulm site store an energy quantity of 1.58 MWh. A 70 kW supply line per cube is sufficient to charge the storage modules overnight. Employees and visitors can use these for their electric cars via wallboxes with a charging capacity of 11 kW each. Any peaks in demand are cushioned by the buffer from the used lithium-ion batteries. “From the relatively low connected load of 70 kW, we gain 300 kW charging power for the wallboxes thanks to the batteries in the cubes,” explains Jannik Mastall, project manager for the expansion of the charging infrastructure at the site. The system works like a rain barrel. The incoming connected load is constantly fed into the energy storage units. In the future, photovoltaic modules could provide additional green energy for the Cubes.

In addition to the new Cubes and the 40 or so charging points in the multi-storey car park at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm, which have already been in use for around two years, Audi has put another 150 charging points into operation in multi-storey car park 2 on the eastern boundary of the plant – fed by a transformer station. There are now around 600 charging points for e-vehicles on the plant premises and at the Neckarsulm and Heilbronn plant boundaries, of which around 20 are fast charging points. Just like the entire site, they are powered by green electricity. “With our charging points, we are making our site fit for the electrification of our models and also giving employees the opportunity to charge their e-cars during working hours,” says Alexander Jakob, Head of Plant Structure Planning Neckarsulm. Some of the charging points are also open to the public. This means that e-drivers and female drivers in the region can also use the offer equally.

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