Mercedes-Benz is partnering with ChargePoint and MN8 Energy to offer EQ customers a “super” EV charging network of their own. The plan will see some 400 charging hubs built across the US and Canada, placed in key M-B markets and population centers, as well as along major highway corridors and close to convenient (and, presumably, upscale) retail and service destinations.
Originally announced last week, the news was somewhat lost in the shuffle of big-time EV concept car announcements from the likes of RAM and Honda/Sony at CES2023 — and that’s bad, because this is a major announcement from serious players in the EV charging space, and a good indicator that Mercedes (like Audi) is at least beginning to understand that the “secret sauce” to Tesla’s success has been in ensuring that the customer experience with recharging remains within their control.
Those 400 charging hubs will be “stocked” with more than 2,500 ChargePoint DC fast charging ports — with “up to” 500kW charging available per port (!), enabling what the official release calls, “a premium, sustainable and reliable charging experience for EV drivers.” MN8 and Mercedes-Benz will jointly finance and operate (read: maintain) the ChargePoint-built charging ports.
“Automotive leaders like Mercedes-Benz continue to lead the transition to electric mobility by bringing new EVs to market, and ChargePoint remains committed to enabling the simplicity that drivers expect and the charging speed they need for all vehicles whenever and wherever drivers want,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO, ChargePoint. “With this partnership, we are expanding upon our existing relationships with Mercedes-Benz and MN8 to deliver a seamless charging experience for drivers, and turnkey charging solutions at no upfront cost to site hosts. We believe the expansion of charging hubs like these will enable the emergence of a new 30 minute retail economy, at the intersection of innovation and accessibility that combines charging and commerce, giving drivers a superior experience to charge quickly and easily.”
The company says the branded charging hubs will be available to all EV drivers, but will offer Mercedes-Benz drivers additional benefits that include preferential access, a reservation system, and the convenience of automatic authentication (“Plug & Charge”) for “seamless and secure communications between the vehicle and the charging infrastructure.”
“Mercedes-Benz customers deserve a compelling charging experience that makes electric vehicle ownership and long-distance travel effortless and that’s why we are launching a global high-end charging network that will offer a charging experience to match the extraordinary Mercedes driving experience. We are excited to start right here in North America with two strong and experienced partners, ChargePoint and MN8 Energy,“ said Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.
Expect the first of these EV charging hubs to go online later this year.
Source | Images: Mercedes-Benz, ChargePoint.
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