Market Insights

Mercedes-Benz Joins Tesla With its own EV Charging Network

January 25, 2023 by Kevin Clemens

Following the lead of Tesla, Mercedes-Benz wants to make its EV owners feel special.

There is a strong consensus that the general population's successful adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will depend upon the availability of vast charging networks. Although, at present, more than 80 percent of EVs are charged at home, the key to long-distance travel is a chain of strategically placed DC fast-charging stations. Tesla realized this early and built its Supercharger network to allow its owner the opportunity to travel long distances. 

 

Mercedes-Benz charging stations. Image used courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

 

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla’s Supercharger network was introduced in 2012, starting with six stations. By the end of 2022, that number had grown to 40,432 Superchargers deployed in 4,470 stations worldwide (with 1,772 stations in North America). Other companies like ChargePoint, EVGo, and Electrify America are building networks to provide EV charging capabilities in and around cities and along major travel routes. 

 

Mercedes-Benz EV Charging Network

Mercedes-Benz has always been known as a premium luxury brand, and as the company begins to build its EV product lineup, it has decided to build its own charging network that will “greatly enhance customers’ charging experience” and differentiate Mercedes-Benz EVs from the wide range of electrified vehicles that will be reaching the market over the coming decade. 

 

Mercedes-Benz. Image used courtesy of Pixabay

 

The company’s plans are global in scope and include high-power charging stations across North America, Europe, and China, along with other markets key to the company’s success. The chargers will be located in cities and urban areas and open up important transportation arteries to allow long-distance EV travel, with plans to have the entire network finished by the end of the decade. 

To achieve its goals, Mercedes-Benz is partnering with ChargePoint and MN8 Energy (a renewable energy specialist) and will build 400 charging stations in the U.S. and Canada. The charging hubs will have a total of more than 2,500 ChargePoint DC fast chargers, some of which will be capable of charging at up to 350 kilowatts (kW), allowing charging times of 30 minutes. Charging locations will have 4 to 12 and eventually as many as 30 individual chargers at each location. When possible, there will be a focus on using renewable green energy to power the charging stations.

 

A Premium Charging Experience

Although in concept, the Mercedes-Benz charging network is not significantly different from the Tesla Supercharger, or other already available networks, the difference is in its details and what they will mean to a Mercedes-Benz owner. Although the chargers will be available to owners of other EV brands, preferential access will be given to Mercedes-Benz owners through a reservation function.  The Mercedes-Benz Electric Intelligence system will also provide optimized route planning using the best charging opportunities based on capacity utilization at various locations. The goal is to provide no waiting to begin charging for Mercedes-Benz customers. 

Because it is Mercedes-Benz, the charging locations will be chosen with food courts and convenient nearby restrooms. 

According to a statement by ChargePoint, this type of high-end charging hub, with equipment that can recharge an EV in half an hour, will help to create a “30-minute retail economy.” The goal is to provide a Mercedes-Benz owner with a superior premium experience that allows a quick, easy, safe, and innovative charging experience. 

The first Mercedes-Benz charging hub will go online later in 2023.