Mercedes-Benz will be using Tesla’s EV charging connector. The decision taken creates a sense of urgency for Volkswagen and BMW to follow suit. Mercedes will add more charging stations for electric vehicles with high-power chargers. In North America, they aim to have 400 sites with over 2,500 chargers, including Tesla’s connector, and 2,000 sites with 10,000 chargers worldwide. Starting in 2024, Mercedes-Benz owners will be able to use over 12,000 Tesla Superchargers throughout North America.
The German automaker has recently adopted Tesla’s North American Charging Standard, which brings Elon Musk’s company closer to dominating the charging industry. The German automaker will begin providing adapters for its customers to use Tesla Supercharger stations, which have a plug and outlet compatible with the company’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) from 2024 onwards. Starting from 2025, Mercedes will produce electric vehicles equipped with Tesla’s charging port, eliminating the necessity for an adapter.
Mercedes-Benz partnered with Tesla and by adopting its connector, the company is following the footsteps of major car manufacturers such as Ford, GM, Volvo, Polestar, and Rivian. This charging standard is increasingly becoming the norm in North America and Europe. Mercedes has joined the trend of following Tesla, becoming the first German car manufacturer to do so. This move puts Volkswagen and BMW under pressure to do the same. VW, Hyundai, Kia, and Stellantis have all confirmed that they are engaging in discussions with Musk’s company regarding the adoption of NACS.
In addition, Mercedes revealed its intention to enlarge its EV charging facilities across North America by constructing 400 hubs, equipped with over 2,500 “high-power chargers,” that are also set to feature Tesla’s NACS connector. The company intends to deploy a network of 2,000 hubs across the globe, housing a total of 10,000 chargers.
Chairman of the Board of Management Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Ola Källenius said, “Our strategic priority is clear: Building the world’s most desirable cars. To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we are dedicated to elevating the entire EV-experience for our customers – including fast, convenient, and reliable charging solutions wherever their Mercedes-Benz takes them. That’s why we are committed to building our global Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging Network, with the first sites opening this year. In parallel, we are also implementing NACS in our vehicles, allowing drivers to access an expansive network of high-quality charging offerings in North America.”
Mercedes announced a partnership with ChargePoint and MN8 to set up chargers in important cities and highways. Mercedes EV owners as well as non-Mercedes EV owners can expect to have access to the initial charging stations by the last quarter of 2023.
Andrew Cornelia, CEO of Mercedes-Benz HPC North America, said, “With the development of Mercedes-Benz’s new North American High-Power Charging Network, we are ready to redefine the electric vehicle charging experience. We’re building on our strong brand promise here by leveraging the renowned quality, reputation, and customer focus for which Mercedes-Benz has been known for well over a century.”
Mercedes-Benz will be using Tesla’s EV charging connector which is often considered better than many third-party EV charging stations. These stations typically have Combined Charging System (CCS) plugs and the less commonly used CHAdeMO charging standard. According to the company, there are 45,000 Superchargers available globally, with 12,000 of them situated in the United States. Tesla has approximately 2,000 DC fast-charging stations and nearly 5,000 Level 2 chargers in operation across the United States, as stated by the Department of Energy.
Tesla superchargers are now available for Mercedes-Benz owners. The company boasts that its Superchargers have an almost flawless record of reliability, unlike other EV charging stations that face issues such as software malfunctions, worn out cables, and faulty chargers. The company reports that last year Supercharger sites had an average uptime of 99.95 percent, which is slightly lower than the 99.96 percent achieved in 2021.
Tesla Superchargers used to be exclusive to Tesla owners for many years. However, the company recently began providing access to non-Tesla electric vehicles in Europe. The Biden administration said last year that Tesla would have to do the same in the US to be eligible for some of the $7.5 billion for EV charging in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Tesla Superchargers in the US use a different connector than those in Europe. This connector is exclusive to Tesla and was used as a way to protect the company from competition. Due to its smaller size, the NACS connector is less prone to malfunctions when compared to CCS connectors. Tesla installed a device called the “Magic Dock” to let non-Tesla vehicles use the chargers. They use a CCS adapter with the connector.