Audi is fitting smart charging as a standard feature on its current and future e-tron range of electric vehicles (EVs).
Smart, or grid optimised, charging is essential to avoid overloading of the local power grid if several EVs are charging simultaneously – a scenario that Audi tested in a simulation with IT service provider GISA and others in the city of Chemnitz demonstrating how a street could go dark.
In practice, this will mean delayed charging taking into account the desired use of the vehicle and the load in the power grid, and enabling the EV to fully charge with dynamic charging capacity adjustment.
Dynamic management of the charging procedure is achieved through targeted communication between the electric car and the grid operator, which is enabled through the smart meter gateway.
All the necessary information and control signals are transmitted in a targeted manner via the gateway, either to the home energy management system (HEMS) or directly to the charging system connect that Audi offers as an option.
The charging capacity of the vehicle is then reduced as required, up to 11kW as standard and by up to 22kW upon request.
Audi’s e-tron and e-tron Sportback are both equipped with the necessary intelligence, and the company intends to provide its future electric models with this ability as well.
Audi says that in the medium term, the new networking technology will allow the charging capacity, time and duration to be controlled for each car.
In addition, some attractive prospects may arise. For example, a customer who is able to charge their Audi e-tron at work could accept certain limitations while charging at home, in return obtaining the power from their provider at a discounted price.
The facility also opens the way for vehicle to grid with the use of these vehicles for flexible storage.
Audi’s smart charging offering is based on the new German DKE AR-E 2829-6 application rule which describes the exchange of information between the domestic grid connection and the energy system, and EEBUS as the communication protocol.
Audi is planning to make its vehicle fleet carbon neutral by 2050 and aims to launch around 20 full EV models by 2025.