German carmaker Audi has announced a partnership with GridCars to install ultra-fast charging stations across South Africa. This will make it the first electric vehicle brand to invest in this technology through publicly-accessible sites, the company said in a statement on Thursday (20 January).
“The 150kW public chargers initiated by Audi will be the first for the South African market. The charge points will provide up to 150kW of direct current (DC) charge to electric vehicles; meaning that an Audi e-tron 55 (with a 95kWh battery) will charge from 10% to 90% in approximately 30 minutes,” it said.
As part of this initiative, Audi said it will invest in setting up 70 new EV charge connectors across 33 sites to expand on the existing public charging network in South Africa – for all electric vehicle drivers.
“These publicly-accessible charging stations will offer all EV consumers regardless of vehicle ownership, the latest, state-of-the-art charging technology available in South Africa, aiming to assist consumers with the adoption of electric mobility,” it said.
Audi South Africa, working alongside local partner GridCars, said it has already commenced with the installation of the local charging investment project since December 2021 and will continue into this year. The investment includes:
- 5 ultra-fast charging stations (150kW), enabling approximately 340km in 30 minutes. These are planned for placement along major highway routes such as the N1, N2, N3 and N4.
- 5 fast-charging stations (80kW), enabling approximately 185km in 30 minutes, also planned for location on major highway routes such as the N1, N2, N3 and N4. One of these chargers will close a long-standing gap (Richmond) in the route between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Audi said.
- 24 fast-charging stations (22kW), enabling approximately 100km in about one hour, at public lifestyle and recreational venues across the country and as part of Audi’s destination charging strategy.
- A total of 70 connectors will be available from the above charging stations, growing the public charging opportunities for all EV drivers.
GridCars, established in 2009, operates and manages the most extensive network of public charging stations across the country.
“This exciting partnership and additional investment with Audi not only expands the network but allows it to be upgraded with additional ultra-fast charging opportunities which are a first for our country, for all EV drivers, regardless of brand or vehicle model,” said GridCars managing director Winstone Jordaan.
Jordaan said GridCars has already begun the installation of Audi branded chargers at various points across the country. The project started in December 2021 and will carry on through early 2022 in time for the planned retail launch of the Audi e-tron range in Q1 2022
“This investment is over and above the charging stations installed at the ten Audi e-tron Dealerships which will offer additional ten 50kW to 75kW (DC) chargers with 20 connectors,” he said.
Read: Electric taxis to be trialled in South Africa