Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday unveiled the first of a planned network of charging stations that the automaker claims will be the fastest in the U.S.—and it represents a template for the form and function of future stations on the network.
Located at Mercedes’ headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, near Atlanta, this first location features 400-kw DC fast chargers provided by ChargePoint. Mercedes claims its charging network will offer 400-kw chargers “exclusively,” allowing for higher average charging speeds than other networks that use a mix of chargers, some with lower power rates.
The site also features amenities like restrooms, vending machines, and a 15-foot pylon visible from the street that indicates whether charging stalls are occupied. All facilities are handicap accessible, Mercedes claims, and the site includes one drive-through stall designed for electric vans or EVs with trailers up to 26 feet in length.
A solar canopy provides cover for EV drivers, who can sit under it in lounge chairs and couches while they wait for their cars to charge. The entire site also uses renewable energy and is carbon neutral, Mercedes claims.
This first site will serve as a template for others in the Mercedes network, which is set to expand with several additional sites at Buc-ee’s travel centers in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia before the end of the year, and at Simon Mall locations in the first half of 2024. Mercedes’ goal for the network, a $1 billion joint venture with MN8 Energy, is to have 2,500 chargers at 400 sites by the end of the decade.
Stations will be open to EVs from all brands. Owners of 2024-model-year Mercedes EVs will get two years of free charging, while owners of Mercedes EVs from previous model years will get six months of free charging.
Mercedes is moving fast. The automaker just announced the charging network earlier this year at CES. In July it announced plans to shift to the Tesla-based North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector for North America. The following month it confirmed that it still planned its own EV fast-charging hubs. The charging sites will include both NACS and Combined Charging Standard (CCS) connectors.
With a series of recent concept cars, Mercedes has been touting an efficiency focus—which would allow such charging to be quicker and go farther as well.
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