Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Mercedes-Benz Expands High-Power Charging Network, Starting with Chengdu in China

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Mercedes-Benz has taken a significant stride in advancing its electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure with the inauguration of a state-of-the-art charging hub in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in southwestern China. The facility, unveiled by Mercedes-Benz, boasts four fast-charging columns, each equipped with a charging point. While the official Mercedes-Benz LinkedIn post mentions a charging capacity of 480 kW, it remains unclear whether this rating applies to each individual charging point or the facility as a whole.

It’s worth noting that 480 kW charging points are not entirely novel in the Chinese EV market, with GAC Aion showcasing a similar charging process with a peak output of 481 kW in the summer of 2021.

The newly opened Chengdu charging stations come furnished with Plug&Charge functionality and dynamic load management, reflecting Mercedes’ commitment to providing cutting-edge charging solutions. Mercedes customers will also enjoy the convenience of reserving charging points with a single click using the “Mercedes me” app. The location, situated in Chengdu, ensures a comfortable waiting experience with ample parking and access to various nearby amenities. However, it is important to mention that the charging area is not covered.

Crucially, Mercedes-Benz’s fast-charging network is designed to be inclusive, welcoming all EV brands to utilize the service. Nevertheless, certain features, such as the reservation system, are primarily intended for Mercedes’ own customer base.

Chengdu is just the beginning of Mercedes’ ambitious charging hub expansion. Following this launch, the company is set to unveil its first locations in the USA and Europe in November. Atlanta and Mannheim, Germany, are the chosen cities for these inaugural hubs, marking Mercedes-Benz’s global commitment to expanding its EV charging infrastructure.

With a vision to establish over 2,000 charging hubs, comprising a total of 10,000 charging points worldwide, by the end of this decade, Mercedes-Benz’s investment in electrification is undeniably substantial.

The German automaker had previously outlined its HPC network plans in January 2023. Depending on the region and location, the fast-charging hubs will offer between four and twelve, with a maximum of 30 high-power chargers, each boasting up to 350 kW of power. Additionally, in a recent development, Mercedes-Benz HPC North America, a subsidiary specifically formed for this initiative, has partnered with the Simon Property Group to deploy fast chargers at 55 shopping malls, marking an essential step in expanding the charging infrastructure across the United States.

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