Mercedes has announced that it is starting an all-new charging network in North America via a partnership with Chargepoint.
As Mercedes-Benz has rapidly introduced new EV models under its EQ nameplate over the past 2-3 years, many have wondered if the luxury automaker would eventually venture into EV charging infrastructure. With it, not only would the company have a new source of revenue in the emerging market of EV charging, but it could offer its vehicle customers the best possible charging experience. Now, Mercedes has announced it will do just that, starting with charging locations in North America.
According to Mercedes’ press release, the German auto giant has high hopes for its new charging network. By 2027, Mercedes will have 400 “high power charging locations” in the United States, consisting of 2,500 chargers. This will eventually expand to 10,000 charging locations globally over the coming years. Mercedes outlines that it has dedicated half a billion euros ($525 million) to the venture, which is matched with an equal investment from its energy partner, MN8 Energy.
Mercedes also outlined some other technical information about the new charging network. Perhaps most interestingly, the network will be open to all EVs “to encourage rapid uptake of electric vehicles.” However, Mercedes notes that Benz drivers will have the ability to reserve charging via their vehicle’s EV route planning system. Furthermore, via Mercedes’ partnership with MN8 Energy, its charging locations will be powered by rooftop solar installations.
Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz, outlined why the brand was pursuing its newest endeavor via a statement included in the press release; “Mercedes-Benz already offers what we believe to be the finest EVs in the market. But to accelerate the electric transformation, we need to ensure that the charging experience keeps pace as well. Our customers deserve a compelling charging experience that makes electric vehicle ownership and long-distance travel effortless. We won’t take a wait-and-see approach for this to be built.”
As more and more luxury automakers join the EV market, it feels like only a matter of time before they consider opening charging networks of their own. And as mentioned above, with so many financial and marketing incentives to do so, why would a brand not? Nevertheless, Mercedes again takes the lead from its considerably more conservative German rivals. And if brands like BMW, Porsche, and Audi hope to keep up in the near future, they could do far worse than emulating the historic luxury brand.
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