Mercedes-Benz and ChargeLevel are going to put in hundreds of EV quick chargers within the US

Mercedes-Benz, MN8, and ChargeLevel are becoming a member of forces to put in 400 quick electrical automobile charging hubs throughout the US in a significant bid to spice up EV gross sales and enhance the nation’s struggling EV charging infrastructure. The mission will value roughly €1 billion ($1 billion), which will probably be cut up 50-50 between Mercedes and MN8.

Starting this yr, the businesses will start the work to assemble a whole bunch of latest hubs, which can embody greater than 2,500 DC quick charging plugs. MN8 Energy, an offshoot of Goldman Sachs Asset Management centered on solar energy and vitality storage, will assist finance the mission utilizing ChargeLevel’s EV charging {hardware} and software program, the businesses stated.

“This is for us a strategic decision to really put our money where our mouth is.”

“This is for us a strategic decision to really put our money where our mouth is,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius stated in a briefing with reporters earlier as we speak, “and back up the direction that we’re already taking over the last few years, pivoting towards electric and putting the company in a position by the end of this decade to be able to serve markets with an all-electric lineup.”

Image: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has stated it expects to transition to EV-only gross sales “where market conditions allow” by the top of the last decade. Several automakers have made comparable claims, although charging infrastructure, manufacturing capability, and higher-than-average EV costs stay important challenges.

The Mercedes-ChargeLevel EV charging hubs will probably be positioned in “key cities and urban population centers, along major highway corridors and close to convenient retail and service destinations,” the businesses say. Mercedes dealerships, luxurious malls, and different retail places frequented by Mercedes house owners are seemingly places as nicely, the corporate’s executives stated.

The EV charging hubs will probably be positioned in “key cities and urban population centers”

“It will be a safe location,” Mercedes chief expertise officer Markus Schäfer stated. “It will be not in the backyard somewhere of some shopping center next to a dumpster.”

The charging hubs will probably be open to all EVs, not simply Mercedes house owners, however individuals who personal an EQS and different Mercedes EVs can have the choice to order sure stations. “We want to have a seamless, premium process here,” Schäfer stated. “So reservation is a feature that we’re offering to Mercedes customers.”

Mercedes has a previous association with ChargeLevel for an “industry-leading” EV charging resolution referred to as Mercedes me Charge, which allows entry to ChargeLevel’s chargers with out a number of charging community accounts, subscriptions, or charging playing cards. The automaker additionally has a deal with Volkswagen’s Electrify America during which Mercedes EV house owners get entry to 2 years of complimentary charging.

Image: Mercedes-Benz

There are roughly 41,000 public charging stations within the United States, with greater than 100,000 retailers. Of course, public chargers are solely half of the equation. Most EV house owners do their charging in a single day whereas parked of their driveway at residence. But if EVs are to turn out to be a extra enticing choice to automobile patrons, charging stations are going to want to turn out to be extra pervasive and dependable, like gasoline stations. 

So far, they’re failing to stay as much as their promise. Broken chargers, janky software program, and busted screens are widespread complaints from EV house owners. The Biden administration is pouring billions of {dollars} right into a nationwide enlargement effort, however there are lingering questions on whether or not EV charging firms are totally invested within the essential upkeep and maintenance.

Källenius cited using the Plug-and-Charge protocol, during which an EV charger robotically identifies the EV when it’s plugged in and initiates charging and billing with none further steps, as a manner towards bettering the shopper expertise.

Mercedes-Benz is the newest automaker to place its personal cash into charging station set up

Mercedes-Benz is the newest automaker to place its personal cash into charging station set up. Sales of the German automaker’s EQ model of electrical automobiles are ticking up within the US, so it is sensible that the corporate will need to be seen as concerned in charging infrastructure enhancements.

Until not too long ago, the one automaker to pour tens of millions of {dollars} into EV charging infrastructure was Tesla. But lately, the auto business has come to phrases with the need of spending cash on EV charging with a purpose to drive EV gross sales and assist recoup the big prices of their improvement.

Aside from Tesla, VW is arguably probably the most invested by means of its subsidiary, Electrify America. GM is working with EVgo on the set up of three,250 chargers, which the automaker has stated will probably be accomplished by the top of 2025. Ford is requiring its sellers to put in chargers and can also be serving to its industrial fleet clients with installations. And Volvo can also be working with ChargeLevel to construct out a community of chargers in Starbucks parking heaps throughout 5 states.

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