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Mercedes Shares More Details About EV Charging Hubs In North America

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Mercedes-Benz plans to create at least 400 charging hubs in North America by the end of 2030. CleanTechnica covered the opening of the Atlanta-area hub and there will be many more like it. One of the complaints that some EV critics have had is range anxiety, but the current crop of EVs have plenty of range. So, the complaint seems to have shifted somewhat to the EV charging experience.

Mercedes is creating EV charging hubs that are comfortable, safe, clean, reliable, and fast.

Andrew Cornelia, Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging CEO, answered some questions about the new charging hubs for CleanTechnica. 

How are you creating an upscale charging experience for all EV drivers nationwide? Are you using the North American Charging Standard?

For Mercedes-Benz, the customer experience comes first. 

Accessible, reliable EV charging infrastructure is critical for EV adoption. We saw a huge gap in the current quality and experience with those on the market, so we decided to tackle the issue head-on to uplift the entire charging experience. Placing drivers at the core of the EV transition is of utmost importance. It’s about ensuring that EV drivers have seamless access to reliable charging infrastructure. 

This means ensuring there are public facilities nearby where our customers can comfortably spend time, grab a coffee or snack, and use the facilities. We maintain stringent standards for quality, reliability, and availability, minimizing downtimes. Safety measures, including video surveillance, enhance the overall charging experience. Ensuring that our charging hubs reflect our characteristic brand identity gives all drivers a world-class experience. Everyone deserves a high-quality charging experience, which is why the Mercedes-Benz brand is open to all EV drivers from day one. 

Mercedes-Benz has joined forces with Simon Property Group (Simon) to deploy more than 50 high-powered charging stations at Simon locations in the US by 2027. Simon is renowned for its nationwide portfolio of upscale retail destinations. These Simon locations provide value to EV drivers while they charge with high-quality amenities including options for food, shopping, entertainment, and more.

Starting this summer, we will be implementing the North American Charging Standard (NACS) across our infrastructure. This means that Mercedes-Benz EV drivers will gain access to Superchargers via an adapter, and Tesla DC chargers will seamlessly integrate into our ecosystem. Additionally, by 2025 the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle will be equipped with the physical NACS plug, further solidifying our commitment to providing convenient and efficient charging solutions for EV owners.

Will all the new charging hubs be powered by clean energy?

Yes, all Mercedes-Benz charging hubs are powered by 100% clean energy. 

Today, our EV charging stations power consumption is matched with renewable energy credits (RECs), the green energy attributes associated with renewable energy production. By purchasing RECs, we ensure that we are investing in renewable power — irrespective of the energy mix in the local market.

If EV drivers prefer faster charging rates to reduce their charging times, do you have a minimum charging rate in kW for the new charging hubs?

Currently, our chargers are capable of charging rates of up to 400 kW, offering customers some of the fastest charging speeds in the industry.

Ensuring seamless charging experiences for all EV drivers is our top priority. It’s about dialing up speed and dialing down inconvenience. While faster charging rates are critical, our focus extends beyond establishing minimum kW requirements. Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive charging network that guarantees convenience and efficiency for every driver, accelerating the widespread adoption of EVs.

Are all the new charging hubs going to be located in safe, well-lit areas?

Yes, when selecting a location, we carefully consider the environmental conditions, both on a broader scale in the surrounding area and specifically when determining the positioning within the property. Additionally, we work with site partners on installation of security surveillance and ample lighting across all locations to guarantee a secure charging atmosphere.  Thanks to partnerships like Simon Properties and Buc-ee’s, we can guarantee that drivers will have access to safe, secure charging in high-traffic areas.

How will you determine the cost per kWh for each charging hub?

Energy prices vary by charging hub location and are calculated in consideration of a wide range of factors, including state and local regulations and utility tariffs. We will align our pricing within each market to make the Mercedes-Benz experience attainable for every EV driver.

Will there be a charging points program for major credit cards so cardholders can earn points at your charging hubs the way they do when they make purchases at gas stations?

All of our charging hubs allow easy and contactless payment with all major credit cards, that means no cumbersome sign-up process is required. Many of these credit card companies already support EV charging with their points programs.

Will any of the charging hubs have their own solar power systems?

Yes, select charging hubs will be equipped with solar panels to provide electricity for the hubs themselves. Our solar canopies will generate passive clean electricity and provide weather cover for customers, as well as overhead LED lighting for safety. 

Last November, we launched our inaugural hub in Sandy Springs, Georgia, featuring our solar canopy. The solar canopy is just one of a variety of features we will use to fulfill our mission to set a new benchmark for quality and customer experience in the charging industry. 

Will any of your new charging hubs be located at established businesses where travelers gather such as at hotels or near them?

Yes, the goal of the Mercedes-Benz charging network is to offer a convenient, seamless, and elevated charging experience where EV drivers are naturally going. When we build a valuable experience around charging, then charging time stops becoming a problem, or even something we think about. New charging hubs will be located at established businesses frequented by travelers or shoppers. Last year, we announced partnerships with Buc-ee’s and Simon, and we will continue to build partnerships with more leading businesses. 

Mercedes-Benz HPC North America LLC, in partnership with MN8 Energy, is installing charging hubs at 31 Buc-ee’s travel centers, a significant milestone in creating a nationwide charging network with a focus on convenience and quality. Buc-ee’s travel centers provide value to EV drivers through their strategic placement along key transit corridors in the South and Southeast, including the Texas Triangle, I-75 and I-95. Buc-ee’s also offers high-quality amenities like freshly prepared food and beverages, souvenirs, friendly service, and some of the most pristine public bathrooms in the world.

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