The joint venture will include the development of a new, high-powered charging network with at least 30,000 chargers to make zero-emission driving even more attractive for millions of customers.
With the generational investments in public charging being implemented on the Federal and State level, the joint venture will leverage public and private funds to accelerate the installation of high-powered charging for customers. The new charging stations will be accessible to all battery-powered electric vehicles from any automaker using Combined Charging System (CCS) or North American Charging Standard (NACS) and are expected to meet or exceed the spirit and requirements of the U.S. National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.
The joint venture aims to become the leading network of reliable high-powered charging stations in North America.
Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius, said, “The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. What we need now is speed – across political, social and corporate boundaries. To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we’re in favor of anything that makes life easier for our customers. Charging is an inseparable part of the EV-experience, and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible.”
The joint venture is expected to be established this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
The first stations are expected to open in the United States in the summer of 2024 and in Canada at a later stage. Each site will be equipped with multiple high-powered DC chargers, making long-distance journeys easier for customers. In line with the sustainability strategies of all seven automakers, the joint venture intends to power the charging network solely by renewable energy.
Elevated Customer Experience
The new high-powered charging network will elevate the entire EV experience and drive EV adoption.
The network will provide a seamless, vehicle integrated, best-in-class charging experience, based on renewable energy and supported by the quality, reliability, and resources of world-leading automakers.
Focused on customer comfort and charging ease, the stations will be in convenient locations offering canopies wherever possible and amenities such as restrooms, food service and retail operations either nearby or within the same complex. A select number of flagship stations will be equipped with additional amenities, delivering a premier experience designed to showcase the future of charging.
Initial plans call for the deployment of charging stations in metropolitan areas and along major highways, including connecting corridors and vacation routes, aiming to offer a charging station wherever people may choose to live, work and travel.
The functions and services of the network will allow for seamless integration with participating automakers’ in-vehicle and in-app experiences, including reservations, intelligent route planning and navigation, payment applications, transparent energy management and more. In addition, the network will leverage Plug & Charge technology to further enhance the customer experience.
An Open Network to Drive Electric Vehicle Growth
As more electric vehicles are introduced and the rate of consumer adoption increases, the demand for fast and reliable public charging also grows in parallel.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as of July 2023, there are 32,000 publicly available DC fast chargers in the United States for use by 2.3 million electric vehicles, a ratio of 72 vehicles per charger. The NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) estimates that 182,000 DC fast chargers will be needed to support 30-42 million plug-in vehicles expected on the road by 2030.
BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse, said, “North America is one of the world’s most important car markets – with the potential to be a leader in electromobility. Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition. Therefore, seven automakers are forming this joint venture with the goal of creating a positive charging experience for EV consumers. The BMW Group is proud to be among the founders.”
With U.S. electric vehicle sales expected to exceed 50% of total U.S. sales by 2030, the expansion of reliable charging infrastructure will become even more critical to widespread electric vehicle adoption.
The creation of a best-in-class charging network will ensure that the EV infrastructure will support current and projected EV sales and will foster the adoption of electric vehicles.