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Mercedes-Benz charging network concept illustration

Mercedes Promises "High-End" Public Charging Network This Year

Company plans to bring 2,500 chargers online in North America by 2027

  • Automaker aims to offer a "high-end" charging experience.
  • It will be open to all brands with priority for Benz customers
  • First stations expected to go online in U.S. this year.
  • Announcement made at annual CES showcase in Las Vegas.

German automaker Mercedes-Benz will build a network of electric vehicle charging stations in the U.S. and abroad, the company announced at CES in Las Vegas today, in a move to rival Tesla and other manufacturers competing for leadership roles in the EV infrastructure race.

Executives outlined a plan to build 400 Mercedes "hubs," or about 2,500 chargers in total, throughout North America by 2027. The planned stations would add to the more than 120,000 public charging points that currently exist in the U.S. alone. The effort is part of Mercedes' broader goals to grow EV sales and utilize renewable energy sources, they said.

Mercedes-Benz charging network concept illustration

What makes the Mercedes EV network different?

In keeping with Mercedes' luxury brand image, the company promised a "high-end" experience to set it apart from other existing networks. For example, Mercedes intends to provide covered stations where possible to protect users from the weather — a rarity for existing public locations — as well as lighting and surveillance systems to improve safety.

Electric vehicles of all brands will be allowed access to the network; however, Mercedes owners are promised special perks such as the ability to reserve a space in advance and begin charging without waiting. Stations will also communicate directly with Mercedes vehicles to handle payments, so drivers won't have to swipe key fobs or open an app to initiate charging.

How fast are the Mercedes network chargers?

The Mercedes public network will include high-speed DC fast chargers offering rates up to 350 kW, which matches the peak charge rate of similar stations in the Electrify America network and exceeding that of the most powerful existing Tesla Superchargers. That's even more power than current Mercedes vehicles can even accept! At its peak rate of 200 kW, the Mercedes EQS 450+ sedan (estimated range: 305 miles on a full charge) can recharge from 10% to 80% capacity in 31 minutes, according to the automaker.

Mercedes will partner with ChargePoint, a charging infrastructure company with an extensive network of stations under its own brand. (Approximately 41% of all public stations in the U.S. belong to ChargePoint, according to the most recent data available from the Department of Energy.) Mercedes is a shareholder in ChargePoint and uses its technology both for back-end charging software and home installation hardware.

Edmunds says

While most brands are content to partner with existing public infrastructure, Mercedes-Benz is sending a message that it intends to take the EV reins by building its own. The company has a long way to go if it wants to overtake Tesla, though luxury buyers may be attracted to the promise of a more premium charging experience.