BMW and Mercedes to join forces for HPC network in China

German premium car manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz have formed a joint venture to construct EV fast chargers in China. The joint venture, Beijing Ion Qi New Energy Technology Co., Ltd., is based in Beijing’s Chaoyang district.

The joint venture, in which Mercedes-Benz Group China and BMW Brilliance Automotive each hold a 50% stake, aims to establish a charging network of at least 1,000 locations with a total of around 7,000 fast-charging points by the end of 2026, using “state-of-the-art charging technologies”.

There is no information on the exact size of the charging parks. The first locations should open this year, initially in cities with a particularly high density of EVs. Later, the stations will be installed nationwide.

Available to all

Like on other continents, the fast-charging network of the two car manufacturers will be publicly accessible and available for all vehicle brands. However, Mercedes-Benz and BMW customers will benefit from exclusive functions, such as Plug&Charge and reserving charging points in advance.

China is an important market for both manufacturers. BMW currently sells six pure electric vehicles in China and presented the BMW i5 for the Chinese market in August 2023. According to Car News China, the Bavarian company also operates 54 fast-charging stations with up to 600 kW of power in 17 Chinese cities as part of its BMW Supercharging Station project (as of January 2024). These stations are also accessible to all manufacturers.

In China, BMW also sells a fully electric version of its current 3 Series sedan /BMW

In 2023, BMW delivered over 40,000 units of its pure electric vehicle models in China, becoming a significant pillar for BMW’s overall sales growth, with a year-on-year increase of over 138%.

All over the world

In January, Mercedes-Benz announced plans to set up its own high-power charging network in North America, Europe, China, and other core markets. It has since opened the first HPC network locations in China, the US, and Europe.

The car manufacturer plans to expand its global fast-charging network to over 2,000 charging points by the end of 2024, including more than 200 in Europe. By the end of the decade, more than 2,000 of its own charging parks with over 10,000 fast-charging points are planned worldwide.

BMW and Mercedes first presented the joint charging network in November 2023. In January, Brussels gave the joint venture the green light – the EU had no objections to the cooperation “given the limited impact on the European Economic Area”.

“Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz will apply the expertise gained from global and Chinese charging operations, as well as their in-depth understanding of the Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) market, to deliver fast, convenient, reliable, and tailor-made charging solutions for the Chinese market. The cooperation is intended to elevate customer public charging experience,” said a BMW press release.


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