German automaker Mercedes-Benz has expanded its fast-charging infrastructure, adding new locations in China and activating the first Mercedes Charging Hubs in Europe and the USA in recent weeks. Since the inauguration of the first charging hub in Chengdu, China, in autumn 2023, Mercedes-Benz has extended its footprint to cities including Foshan, Qingdao, Chongqing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Kunming, and Changzhou, with additional details about these new locations yet to be disclosed.
The initial charging facility in Chengdu served as a model for the company's approach. Comprising four columns, each equipped with one charging point, the Chengdu hub was highlighted for its 480 kW charging capacity. However, it remains unspecified whether this capacity applies per charging point or collectively for the entire facility.
The charging points support Plug&Charge and offer dynamic load management, while Mercedes customers can conveniently reserve charging points via the ‘Mercedes me' app. The company emphasizes providing ample parking and nearby amenities for a comfortable waiting experience at these locations.
Mercedes-Benz's fast-charging network is designed to be accessible to all electric vehicle brands, ensuring compatibility with vehicles from various manufacturers. However, exclusive features such as reservation options are tailored for Mercedes customers.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its plans for an extensive high-power charging (HPC) network in January 2023. The global network aims to establish four to twelve charging points at each location, with a maximum output of up to 350 kW, varying based on regional and site-specific considerations. The automaker envisions deploying over 2,000 charging hubs worldwide, boasting a total of 10,000 charging points by the end of the decade.
The first European and American charging hubs were connected to the grid in Mannheim and Sandy Springs in November 2023. Mercedes-Benz HPC North America, a subsidiary established for this purpose, partnered with the Simon Property Group to implement fast chargers at 55 shopping malls in the United States.
In collaboration with BMW, Mercedes-Benz is planning a joint fast-charging network in China, featuring at least 1,000 locations and approximately 7,000 connections. The European Union recently granted approval for this Chinese joint venture between the two automotive giants.