Audi South Africa (SA) is partnering with GridCars to install ultrafast electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the country.
In doing this, the local arm of the German car maker says it will become the first EV brand to invest in this technology at publicly accessible sites.
The charge points will provide up to 150 kW of direct current (DC) charge to EVs, meaning that an Audi e-tron 55 (with a 95 kWh battery) will charge from 10% to 90% in about 30 minutes.
Audi says it will invest in setting up 70 new EV charge connectors at 33 sites in the country, in order to expand the existing public charging network in South Africa for all EV drivers.
This investment is over and above the charging stations installed at ten Audi e-tron dealerships, which will offer additional ten 50 kW to 75 kW DC chargers with 20 connectors.
“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, and aims to assist consumers with the adoption of electric mobility,” says the premium brand.
In preparation for the arrival of Audi’s e-tron EV range in the first quarter of this year, Audi says it recognises the role that it can play to ensure a smoother path to EV adoption for South African consumers.
“Investing in the country’s charging infrastructure to support this shift to future mobility is critical. Audi is committed to playing an integral role in the transition to premium sustainable mobility.”
“The investment and partnership with GridCars demonstrates our brand philosophy that the future is an attitude,” notes Audi SA MD Sascha Sauer.
“As we prepare for the arrival of our e-tron range, we understand that there is more to be done as an automotive brand than simply providing the product. We also have to enable and partner with those who can empower the transition to an electric future with ease and understanding.”
Audi SA started with the installation of the chargers in December, and is continuing the project into this year.
The investment includes the following:
- Four 150 kW DC ultrafast charging stations, enabling roughly 340 km in 30 minutes. These are to be placed along major highways such as the N1, N2, N3 and N4.
- Five 80 kW DC fast-charging stations, enabling around 185 km in 30 minutes, also planned for location on major highways such as the N1, N2, N3 and N4. One of these chargers will close a long-standing gap at Richmond in the route between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
- Twenty-four 22 kW alternating current fast-charging stations, enabling about 100 km in one hour, at public lifestyle and recreational venues across the country as part of Audi’s destination charging strategy.
“GridCars, established in 2009, operates and manages the most extensive network of public charging stations across the country,” says GridCars MD Winstone Jordaan.
“Through this partnership with Audi SA, we are hoping to further progress the EV journey and tackle the challenges around charging, range and accessibility.”
Audi says a full e-tron model range will be available for sale in the next two months, through ten e-tron dealerships nationwide.
This includes the e-tron 55 sports-utility vehicle, e-tron 55 Sportback, e-tron S Sportback, and the pinnacle of the line-up, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT.