Mercedes-Benz planning $1 billion network of EV charging stations

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Mercedes-Benz is planning to spend $1 billion to build what sounds like its answer to Tesla's Supercharger network. The company detailed a new network of EV charging stations that will ultimately include over 2,500 chargers in 400 locations scattered across the United States.

The network (which doesn't have a name yet) is a joint project between Mercedes-Benz and energy producer MN8 Energy, and the two firms will evenly split the massive investment required to build it. Construction in the United States is scheduled to start before the end of 2023, and the network will ultimately expand to other regions including Europe and China. The global project should be complete before 2030.

Mercedes-Benz will set up its charging stations in key cities and urban centers, close to major roads, and in the vicinity of popular retail and service centers. Some of the stations will also be located at participating dealers. While the network will be built with Mercedes-Benz's EVs in mind, the company notes that electric cars built by other brands will be able to plug in as long as they're equipped with the proper charger.

Computer-generated images depict a charging station styled like a sleeker-looking gas station. The layout will be modular, so different sites will be arranged differently depending on their location, and surveillance cameras should provide users with peace of mind. The cost of charging hasn't been announced, though Mercedes-Benz notes some chargers will reach speeds of up to 350 kilowatts. It adds that users who drive one of its cars will be able to reserve a spot via the infotainment system and pay for charging with the Mercedes Me Charge service. Folks who drive an EV built by another company won't have this option, but they'll be able to use "a wide array of payment functions."

Additional details about this new network of charging stations will emerge in the coming months.

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