Mercedes to launch vehicle-charging network, starting in North America

Mercedes to launch vehicle-charging network, starting in North America
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Mercedes-Benz sign is seen on Mercedes-Benz EQE, an all-electric sedan, during International Motor Show Auto 2022 in Riga, Latvia April 30, 2022. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

BERLIN (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz is poised to invest billions of euros to build 10,000 fast-charging points in North America, Europe and China by 2030, the luxury carmaker said on Thursday.

The carmaker will commence construction in North America this year, targeting 2,500 charging points at 400 locations across most U.S. states and Canada by 2027, it said at the CES car show in Las Vegas which runs from Jan. 5-8.

It will split just over one billion euros ($1.06 billion) in investment required by 2030 for North America with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) spinoff MN8 Energy, a renewable energy producer and battery storage operator, and is partnering with charging network company ChargePoint for technological know-how.

MN8 Chief Executive Jon Yoder said the company expected to make a profit within five to seven years, possibly earlier if it received subsidies or if utilisation rates are higher than expected.

Discussions are ongoing with potential partners for the network buildout in Europe and China.

The United States has around 140,000 public EV chargers, according to July 2022 data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NYSE:LH).

Surveys show consumers around the world are discouraged from purchasing EVs because of a dearth of charging infrastructure.

In Europe, where Mercedes-Benz is already part of a charging joint venture with Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p), BMW, Ford and Hyundai called Ionity, infrastructure is further along, with around 375,000 charging points available at the end of 2021, according to a McKinsey Study.

Still, the region requires at least 3.4 million charging points by 2030 to meet an expected rise in demand, the study said.

Separately, Mercedes-Benz has applied for certification in California and Nevada for Level 3 automated driving, enabling its electric vehicles to take over driving at up to 60 kilometers an hour on suitable motorway sections or in dense traffic, the company also said at the CES car show.

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Source: Reuters