Eleven months after sharing plans to develop and implement a new series of EV charging hubs across North America, Mercedes-Benz, with the help of ChargePoint, has opened its very first location in the US, complete with a driver lounge and powered using 100% renewable energy.
This past January, Mercedes-Benz announced plans for the new network of fast charging hubs during a press conference at CES, alongside its new partner, ChargePoint.
At the time, we learned that both MN8 Energy and Mercedes-Benz would finance and jointly operate the network of over 400 planned charging hubs, becoming home to over 2,500 ChargePoint DC fast charging piles across the US and Canada.
The hubs are expected to be implemented in populated areas where more and more EVs are looking to recharge, offering a space for drivers to plug in near retail and other service centers in addition to busy highway corridors.
In early November, we learned the retail therapy Mercedes-Benz is planning to pair with its new charging network includes 55 charging hubs at properties owned by Simon – a US real estate investment trust and owner of countless shopping malls.
A week later, Mercedes-Benz announced a second retail agreement with beloved convenience store behemoth, Buc-ees, to erect Mercedes branded charging hubs at most of the former’s existing locations. That rollout will begin with about 30 hubs by the end of 2024.
Before then however, we are seeing the first Mercedes charging hub donning ChargePoint piles open for business in Georgia with plenty more on the way.
Mercedes opens first EV charging hub at US HQ
According to news from Mercedes High Power Charging (HPC) North America, it has officially inaugurated its first charging hub beside its US headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The hub comes equipped with a solar canopy enabling carbon neutral energy usage, fifteen-foot intelligent indicators that easily display whether a pile is available, and a charging lounge complete with vending, restrooms, and places to relax.
The star of Mercedes’ first first EV charging hub however is ChargePoint, whose initial piles (seen above) can offer rates up to 40 kW, supporting any and all EV brands looking to replenish (as long as they use CCS1 and NACS connectors). Thanks to ChargePoint’s tech, some EVs will be able to recoup a charge from 10-80% in under 20 minutes, depending on the vehicle’s platform architecture of course. Franz Reiner, chairman of the board of management at Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG spoke:
The Mercedes-Benz Charging Network expands global charging options for customers of all EV brands to promote clean, electric mobility. 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. These efforts will pave the way for greater EV adoption here in North America and around the world.
While the new hub network opens its piles to all EVs from day one (except maybe the LEAF), Mercedes EV owners can take advantage of special benefits, including automatic charger reservations through the EQ vehicle’s native navigation, plus ‘Plug & Charge’ capabilities using the Mercedes me Charge app – allowing drivers to simply plug-in and walk away without having to tap a card.
Lastly, Mercedes-Benz says it is offering current EQ owners six months of complimentary charging at its hubs, while drivers of 2024 model year EQ EVs will receive two years of unlimited free charging.
Following today’s news, those free charging perks will only be an option in Georgia, but don’t worry, there are plenty more Mercedes hubs on the way. The initial location near headquarters is the mere start of a $1 billion investment from the German automaker, who intends to build and operate over 400 additional locations by the end of the decade.
That will begin with additional hubs at Buc-ee’s travel centers in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia before year’s end, followed by further expansion through the convenience stores and Simon malls through 2024 with the help of MN8 Energy and ChargePoint.
If you’re near Sandy Springs, why not take your EV over to Mercedes-Benz HQ, have a charge, and tell us about it? We’d love to hear about your experience!
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