Mercedes-Benz is offering a change to the way Americans charge their vehicles in the same way Starbucks altered the routine of getting a cup of coffee.
Mercedes, in a joint venture with MN8 Energy to launch a network of premium electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across North America, inaugurated its first x-Benz Charging Hub at its headquarters in Sandy Springs, GA Nov. 15.
This inaugural charging hub is the first step in Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to invest over $1 billion to deliver 2,500 chargers within at least 400 charging hubs across North America by the end of the decade.
Mercedes EV Charging Network
In addition to the first Charging Hub opening, Mercedes-Benz HPC NA announced agreements to open several hubs will open at Buc-ee’s travel centers in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia by the end of 2023, with further expansion in 2024.
Charging hubs at Simon Mall locations are planned to launch in the first half of 2024, both showing the power of retail integration collaborations to facilitate a speedy network build out that has immediate customer impact, according to officials at the auto maker.
“In North America, our strategy is clear: focusing on where EV drivers are and where they are going to enhance the North American EV charging map while setting new standards for quality and customer experience,” said Franz Reiner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG. “These efforts will pave the way for greater EV adoption here in North America and around the world.”
Life at the Hub
The Sandy Springs Hub, installed by ChargePoint, is capable of charging rates of up to 400kW, offering customers some of the fastest charging speeds in the industry, according to MB.
The hubs are being promoted as a destination where customers can enjoy a premium, clean and comfortable environment while their vehicle charges, complete with couches and lounge chairs, vending machines, refreshments, and restroom facilities. Drivers of EVs from any brand can charge their vehicle.
A pylon built to a height of 15 feet, visible from the street, indicates the status of the charging stall: in use, free or reserved. And through both direct and indirect means, the charging hub uses renewable energy and are carbon neutral.
Expanding National Network
Key to Mercedes-Benz HPC NA’s driver value network strategy is retail integration, and the agreements with Simon and Buc-ees demonstrate this strategy in action.
Simon retail outlets are destinations for food, shopping and socializing located in key areas of EV saturation—where customers are—and Buc-ee’s locations are travel centers located strategically along key travel corridors and EV charging deserts—where customers are going.
“At the onset of MN8’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz to build an unparalleled charging experience, we shared a vision of bringing the decarbonized future faster,” said Jon Yoder, President and CEO of MN8 Energy. “The incredible speed with which we’ve made that vision a reality, demonstrated by the inauguration of the charging experience here at Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters and the sites that will follow later this year, is a testament to the strength of our purpose and outstanding abilities of our teams.”
The network in the U.S. is part of the Mercedes international plan for an international EV charging network. The company is in a joint venture with IONITY, which already comprises around 3,000 charging points in Europe.
The Mercedes-Benz Charging Network is aiming to build more than 2,000 charging hubs with over 10,000 charging points by the end of the decade in the U.S., Europe, China and several other markets–all part of Ambition 2039, the Mercedes-Benz Group’s global commitment to create a carbon-neutral value chain by the end of the next decade.