Mercedes-Benz Unveils ‘Global’ Charging Network to Rival Tesla Superchargers

Image: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz announced plans for a “global” high-power charging network at CES 2023 this week.

While the company has previously partnered with charging network operators like Canada’s FLO for electric vehicle (EV) charging in the past, its newest plans are for Mercedes-Benz branded chargers.

Mercedes-Benz will start establishing its charging network this year in North America through partnerships with MN8 Energy and ChargePoint. Rollout in Europe, China, and other key markets will follow soon after.

“At Mercedes-Benz, we’re fully committed to making the charging of battery electric-vehicles easier and more accessible,” said Markus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer at Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

“By selecting MN8 Energy and ChargePoint as our partners in North America – two of the leaders in their respective fields – we’ll be able to continue to drive the transformation towards an electric future, which is one of the main pillars of our holistic, sustainable corporate strategy.”

The veteran automaker plans to complete its North American charging network by 2027, with over 400 “hubs,” as it called them, hosting 2,500 high-power chargers outlets across the continent.

“Spaced conveniently at regular intervals close to motorways, major intersections and metropolitan areas, the hubs will offer a premium, sustainable and reliable charging experience,” the company said.

“The locations and surroundings of the Mercedes-Benz charging hubs will be carefully selected with wider customer needs in mind. The best possible charging experience will therefore come complete with food outlets and restrooms situated nearby.”

Going by Mercedes-Benz’s “global” ambitions and description of its charging hubs, the company is positioning its branded charging project as a competitor to Tesla’s worldwide Supercharging network.

If that’s the case, Mercedes-Benz has some catching up to do. Tesla has over 4,000 Supercharger locations across the globe with a total of more than 36,000 charging stalls. What’s more, the company is gradually opening its Supercharging network up to EVs from other automakers.

Mercedes-Benz also said that all of its chargers will be powered by renewable energy and all hubs with roofs will be equipped with solar power setups.

Also at CES, the company showcased the VISION EQXX concept EV, which it hailed as the “most efficient Mercedes-Benz” ever built, announced the launch of its new Automatic Lane Change (ALC) feature in North America, revealed plans to roll out Level 3 autonomous driving in the U.S. later this year, and more.