Mercedes is on track, building its own global fast-charging park. In Europe, where the brand aims at 200 charging points, the car brand announced that it will open its first hub in Mannheim in October 2023. The charging station must set new standards for fast, convenient, and sustainable charging.
The rollout of its own charging network was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. Small recap: Mercedes plans to deploy 10 000 branded high-power charging points by 2030 in the likes of Tesla’s Supercharging network. In the first round, 2 000 must be ready worldwide by the end of next year, of which 200 are planned for the European Continent.
Reservation for Mercedes customers
Technically, the charging points can handle peak powers of up to 400 kW – Tesla’s latest V4 version is designed for 600 kW – and will also be accessible to drivers from other brands. But EQ drivers will benefit from a time-saving reservation function blocked for non-Mercedes customers.
This is part of the Plug & Charge service from Mercedes, which also enables automatic payment by vehicle identification. The network will be seamlessly integrated into the navigation systems of the brand’s models.
Alongside Mannheim, one location in Atlanta, US, and another in Chengdu, China, will be inaugurated simultaneously. Unlike Tesla, Mercedes enrolls subcontractors to build the network. The charging standards cover CCS1 and CCS2 (EU), NACS (USA), and GB/T (China).
At the same time, Mercedes promises a balanced grid with intelligent management so that each vehicle can charge at its maximum power rate. Where possible, the provided electricity is supplied with green certificate backing to ensure it’s renewable and sustainable.
In a dealership near you
Mercedes’ HPC (High Power Charging) network is also a reaction to the high-speed Ionity program in which it takes part as a partner, but which has been underwhelmingly received because of its lack of customer service. Therefore, Mercedes ensures that its canopied hubs are strategically chosen near amenities for snacks, refreshments, and restrooms.
Others will be constructed near dealerships, a solution also favored by Renault. However, Mercedes doesn’t go to the lengths of Audi and Porsche, which create executive lounges next to their charging hubs, where customers can enjoy free wifi, sofas, and showers while their car is charging.
The HPC network falls under the responsibility of Mercedes’ mobility arm. Its CEO Franz Reiner: “With the Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging Network, we are expanding global charging options and setting new standards in electric vehicle charging.”