Mercedes-Benz uses CES 2023 to announce a global charging network that launches first in North America. Construction at sites in the United States and Canada begins this year. Later, there would be locations in Europe, China, and other key markets for the automaker. The goal is to have the full network in place before the end of the decade.
Mercedes partners with MN8 Energy to create this charging network. They'll share a 50:50 investment of over €1 billion (approx. £835 million at current exchange rates) to build the North American network over the next six to seven years. By 2027, there will be a planned 400 hubs across, which will provide more than 2,500 chargers to drivers.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Charging Network
Mercedes will prioritise building charging hubs in cities and urban population centres. The specific locations will be near retail destinations, restaurants, and the automaker's dealers. Most sites will have 4 to 12 chargers, and some will have as many as 30.
The hubs will have chargers supporting up to 350 kilowatts. They will have intelligent charge-load management so that each vehicle will recharge at its maximum capacity. Plugging in will be possible from either side of a model, which will make things easier for drivers. Where possible, Mercedes will use renewable energy certificates for sourcing the electricity. Some locations will have solar cells.
This network will prioritise Mercedes customers by giving them preferential access to the chargers. Drivers of other EVs will also be able to use the sites, though.
The Mercedes-Benz Electric Intelligence navigation system will be able to adjust route planning based on a vehicle's destination and will be able to take them to one of these chargers, including reserving a space in advance. According to the company's claims, the system will know the available capacity at a hub and will get the driver immediate access to the charging point without any waiting.
Once there, the charger will communicate with the vehicle. For Mercedes models, a driver won't have to do any manual authentication. Paying for the service will happen through the Mercedes Me Charge service. Owners of other EVs will have a separate payment method.