Mercedes-Benz is set to join the ranks of electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers that have their own charging networks, such as Tesla and Nio. The automaker announced its own charging network, the Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging Network, in January of this year. By the end of fall, the network will have its first stations operational on three continents – Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, Chengdu in China, and Mannheim in Germany.
The Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging Network is part of the automaker’s ambitious plan to expand its charging infrastructure. By the end of this decade, Mercedes aims to have over 2,000 stations worldwide, offering access to more than 10,000 DC fast-charging points. These stations will be strategically located at main traffic areas and select dealerships, with nearby amenities available for users.
To put this into perspective, Tesla’s Supercharger network currently has just over 5,000 locations. So, Mercedes’ plan to roll out more than 2,000 stations globally is a significant endeavor that aims to provide widespread access to fast charging for EV owners.
Depending on the region, the Mercedes charging stations will offer charging rates of up to 400 kW. This will be made possible through the use of respective standard charging systems such as CCS1, CCS2, NACS, and GB/T. Mercedes plans to prioritize its core markets for station deployment, ensuring that regions with a high demand for EVs are adequately served.
In North America, Mercedes is collaborating with ChargePoint, a leading charging network technology company, and MN8 Energy, a solar energy and battery storage company. This collaboration will not only help expedite the build-out of the charging network but also ensure that customers have access to renewable energy sources. Mercedes plans to have over 400 stations in North America by 2027, which will collectively offer more than 2,500 fast-charging points.
One notable aspect of the Mercedes charging network is its openness to EVs from all brands. While Mercedes owners will have the privilege of reserving a charging point exclusively, the stations will be accessible to EV owners of other brands as well. Furthermore, the stations will offer Plug & Charge functionality, meaning that compatible vehicles will have their charging and payment processes activated as soon as they connect the cable to the station.
In addition to developing its own charging network, Mercedes has also made significant partnerships and strategic decisions to enhance its charging capabilities. For instance, the automaker has decided to adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS) starting in 2025. This move demonstrates Mercedes’ commitment to interoperability and compatibility with other charging networks and EV brands. Moreover, Mercedes EV owners will have access to Tesla’s charging network starting from 2024, initially using a CCS to NACS adapter.
Despite its commitment to establishing its own charging network, Mercedes will continue to support the expansion of the Ionity network in Europe. Additionally, the automaker is involved in a new North American network that is backed by six other automakers. These collaborative efforts highlight the industry-wide recognition of the importance of building a robust and interconnected charging infrastructure to facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
In conclusion, Mercedes-Benz’s entry into the EV charging network space further solidifies the shift towards electric mobility. With plans to roll out over 2,000 stations worldwide by the end of the decade, Mercedes aims to provide high-power charging access to its customers and other EV owners. This expansion of charging infrastructure, coupled with partnerships and support for existing networks, demonstrates the automaker’s commitment to advancing the electric vehicle ecosystem and ensuring a seamless charging experience for all.