EV makers are increasingly seeing the wisdom of Tesla’s decision to float a public charging network. Mercedes is following suit by launching its own charging network which the automaker will launch first in North America.
Mercedes will begin constructing the charging stations this year. It hopes to open 2,500 units across 400 sites in the US and Canada by 2027, according to a statement at the CES car show in Las Vegas.
The German company is targeting 10,000 fast-charging points by the end of the decade. They will be available in Canada, the United States, Europe, and China. In comparison, Tesla has 40,000 Supercharger stalls globally.
Mercedes has teamed up with MN8 Energy, a Goldman Sachs spin-off. The latter is a renewable energy producer and battery storage operator. Both parties will split the $1.06 billion investment in the new venture. Mercedes is also bringing in ChargePoint as a technical partner.
According to a press release from Mercedes Benz the network will be available to “accessible for drivers of all car brands,” so we are assuming that includes Tesla drivers. However Mercedes Benz owners will see some benefits like being able to pre-book a charging stall.
According to MN8’s chief executive, the charging network should become profitable within five and seven years. It could be earlier if subsidies are available or there is a higher than anticipated utilization rate.
There are about 140,000 public charges in the US, according to the latest data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. More publicly accessible chargers are a motivating factor for potential EV buyers.
Mercedes already runs the Ionity charging network in partnership with Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, and Hyundai.