The stations will be open to electric vehicles built by other brands.
Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to build a network of 10,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2030, starting with the US and Canada and later expanding to China, Europe, and other key markets. The North American portion of the network will eventually include 400 hubs with a total of 2,500 "high-power chargers," according to a press release from the company. These charging stations will offer speeds of up to 350 kW and each station will have up to 30 chargers.
The chargers will be open to all EV drivers, but Mercedes-Benz owners will receive special treatment, as they'll be able to reserve stations in advance. In a blow to rural areas, which are prone to "charging deserts," Mercedes-Benz has said that it is focusing the network around "key cities and urban population centers, close to major arteries, convenient retail and service destinations, including participating Mercedes-Benz dealership sites."
Mercedes-Benz isn't building out the network alone. The company is partnering with MN8 Energy, a Goldman Sachs spinoff that owns hundreds of solar farms and energy storage facilities across the US, and ChargePoint, an EV charger company. The project is expected to cost over $1 billion and will be split evenly between Mercedes-Benz and MN8 Energy. Construction in the US is set to begin before the end of 2023, with the global project set to be completed by 2030.
Computer-generated images depict the charging stations as sleek, modular structures styled like gas stations. The layout will vary depending on the location, and surveillance cameras will provide users with added security. The cost of charging hasn't been announced, but Mercedes-Benz has said that some chargers will reach speeds of up to 350 kW. Users who drive a Mercedes-Benz will be able to reserve a spot and pay for charging using the Mercedes Me Charge service, while those driving EVs from other brands will have access to "a wide array of payment functions."
This new network of charging stations is being seen as Mercedes-Benz's answer to Tesla's Supercharger network. While it was designed with Mercedes-Benz EVs in mind, the company has said that electric cars from other brands will be able to use the chargers as long as they're equipped with the proper connector. Additional details about the network are set to be released in the coming months.