The German brand wants to support the development of its sales of electric cars by launching its own high-power charging network. A strategy reminiscent of that of Tesla with its superchargers.
Mercedes-Benz is investing in the market for electric charging stations, starting this year with the United States and Canada, before rolling out worldwide, the group announced in a press release released on Thursday January 5 as part of CES 2023. .
“A complete network” for 2030
“The goal is to have a full network in place before the end of the decade, when Mercedes-Benz intends to go all-electric, where market conditions allow,” the statement said.
The German manufacturer is attacking the North American market this year, where it plans to set up a network of 400 stations on the map of the United States and Canada before 2027.
To this end, it has joined forces with the American solar energy supplier MN8, with which it announces the creation of a joint venture, representing an investment of one billion euros, divided equally between the two companies.
“Some Mercedes-Benz charging stations will also be equipped with photovoltaic systems to supply electricity for lighting and video surveillance, for example,” the statement noted.
Each station should offer electric vehicle drivers between 4 and 30 charging stations per station, for a total of 2,500 stations on the North American continent.
These terminals must offer “up to 350 kW” of electric current, the group says. This ceiling represents a power far superior to what the best-equipped vehicles currently accept.
A future competitor to Tesla superchargers
The group comes several years after its competitor Tesla, which has already installed more than 6,000 stations in the United States, currently offering more than 28,000 terminals to American drivers, according to the site of the Ministry of Energy, either 22% of the American market.
The manufacturer should benefit from the policy voted this summer in Washington to subsidize the electric vehicle sector, which greatly worries Europeans, risking discrimination against foreign companies outside American territory.
The German group will “look” whether it can indeed take advantage of these subsidies, its CEO, Ola Kaellenius, admitted during an online press conference from Las Vegas, where the CES car show is held until see you on Sunday.
Source of revenue and loyalty
Another interest for Mercedes: to retain a clientele of buyers for its own car models. While its charging stations will be accessible to all electric vehicles, they will offer exclusive services to Mercedes owners who will be able to reserve terminals in advance.
This feature could “perhaps persuade more customers to join the Mercedes brand”, explained Ola Kaellenius.
Eventually, Mercedes is aiming for a total of 10,000 chargers worldwide in North America, but also in Europe, China and other major markets.