Sunday, March 3, 2024

Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Stellantis Join Effort to Bring 30,000 EV Charging Stations to North America

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Leading luxury automakers, Mercedes-Benz Group, BMW Group, and Stellantis NV, have partnered with General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and Kia to develop an unprecedented electric vehicle charging network across North America.

The joint venture aims to deliver a top-tier electric vehicle (EV) customer experience via 30,000 charging stations in both urban and highway locations boasting high reliability, high-powered charging capacity, digital integration, as well as a host of amenities at strategic locations, utilizing renewable energy.

To ensure EV customers’ convenience, the plan targets the installation of at least 30,000 high-powered charging points in urban locations and along major highways. These charging stations, equipped with Combined Charging System (CCS) and North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors, aim to be universally accessible to all EV customers, irrespective of their vehicle make.

“North America is one of the world’s most important car markets — with the potential to be a leader in electromobility,” BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse, said in a statement. “Accessibility to high-speed charging is one of the key enablers to accelerate this transition.”

BMW
Courtesy BMW

Zipse says the unique partnership is designed to foster a positive charging experience and spur EV consumer adoption, a cause that BMW Group takes pride in supporting.

Planning to open the first stations by the summer of 2024, the joint venture will leverage both public and private funds to expedite the installation of high-powered charging facilities. These stations will align with the sustainability strategies of all seven automakers, intending to power the charging network exclusively by renewable energy.

“The fight against climate change is the greatest challenge of our time,” said Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius. “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.”

Källenius says charging is an inseparable part of the EV experience, “and this network will be another step to make it as convenient as possible.”

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares says the group’s effort is intended to “exceed customer expectations” by creating more opportunities for a seamless charging experience.

alfa romeo EV
Courtesy Alfa Romeo

“We believe that a charging network at scale is vital to protecting freedom of mobility for all, especially as we work to achieve our ambitious carbon neutrality plan,” Tavares said. “A strong charging network should be available for all — under the same conditions — and be built together with a win-win spirit.”

The charging stations will be strategically located near amenities including food services and retail outlets, with flagship stations boasting additional features to provide a premium experience. These network functions and services aim for seamless integration with the in-vehicle and in-app experiences of participating automakers, making EV adoption more appealing.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the ratio of EVs to public DC fast chargers is presently 72:1, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory projects a requirement for 182,000 DC fast chargers by 2030 to support the anticipated 30-42 million plug-in vehicles. This joint venture’s large-scale, reliable charging network could play a significant role in meeting the infrastructure requirements for this burgeoning EV market.

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