The German automaker plans to build the stations in “key cities and urban population centers, close to major arteries around existing infrastructure” like dealerships, restaurants, and restrooms. The stations themselves will have between three and 12 chargers initially, with some stations later expanding to as many as 30 charge points. Where possible, they’ll be protected from the weather, as seen in the rendering below.
The first chargers will be constructed in the U.S. and Canada starting this year. By 2027, the automaker hopes to have built 400 stations with 2,700 charge points in North America. Mercedes claims there will be a focus on using “green” electricity to provide juice for these stations. Many will likewise be equipped with solar panels to power lighting and camera systems at various locations.
Mercedes is just one of many automakers spending big bucks to build chargers—its investment will total more than $1 billion. Other car companies like General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, and more are also making similar infrastructure investments. In fact, GM recently made its dealers agree to build a massive amount of Level 2 charging stations—around 40,000 total—and they’ll be operational by 2026.
The Stuttgart automaker’s system of having its own EVs get preference at its stations is interesting and has some merit. Owners of premium electric vehicles likely expect a premium charging experience in a controlled environment. If Mercedes can provide that, it could attract more customers, similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out, though. Currently, many EV charging stations are ill-maintained and malfunction frequently. That can’t be the case here or else Mercedes buyers will have no choice but to go elsewhere.
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