Mercedes-Benz has outlined its plans to build its own electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network.
The German car maker’s chief technology officer, Markus Schäfer, revealed the plans at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023.
Construction of the charging network will begin this year, in North America, and the rollout will continue in Europe, China and other markets later. The North American network is scheduled for completion by 2027, by which time a total of more than 400 hubs with more than 2,500 high-power chargers will cover the continent.
By the end of the decade, the Mercedes-Benz high-power charging network will have expanded worldwide with more than 10,000 high-power chargers over and above its existing charging offers.
Ola Källenius, chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, said: “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. That’s why we are launching a global high-end charging network. It’s designed to become another differentiator of Mercedes-Benz ownership for our customers and an asset with value creation potential for our company.”
The Mercedes-Benz charging hubs will be placed with food outlets and restrooms situated nearby. The facilities will also be equipped with surveillance cameras and other measures to provide a safe and secure charging environment at all times.
Depending on region and location, the hubs will offer four to 12 – and ultimately as many as 30 – high-power chargers with up to 350kW charging power.
The network will be open to all electric vehicle brands, but Mercedes-Benz customers will enjoy special benefits, such as the ability to reserve a charging spot and a Plug & Charge convenience function for automatic payment.
The total investment cost for the North American network will be just over 1 billion Euros (£886.1m), deployed over the next six-seven years. The capital for this will be provided by Mercedes and partner MN8 in a roughly 50:50 split.
Mercedes-Benz will refocus its model line-up in high-profit luxury segments, dropping cheaper models.
The brand plans to become a ‘dedicated pure-play luxury car company’ and will target three segments: top-end luxury, core luxury and entry luxury.
The car maker’s Vision EQXX has set a new EV range world record after travelling 746 miles on a single charge. It uses a 100kWh battery, which is ultra-compact, with a footprint that is 50% smaller and 30% lighter than the 107.8kWh pack used in the Mercedes EQS.