New Mercedes-Benz High Power Charging Station Debuts in Atlanta:
A new type of electric vehicle (EV) charging station is making its debut in Atlanta today, marking the first North American site to be part of the Mercedes-Benz High Power Charging (HPC) network. This network is planned to include over 400 stations across the United States, giving drivers of all vehicle brands access to rapid fast-charging capabilities and luxurious amenities.
The charging system, supplied by ChargePoint, can charge at up to 400 kW, which exceeds the charging speed currently supported by most electric vehicles. Faster charging rates are highly desirable for both experienced EV drivers and car shoppers alike.
ChargePoint has also launched its Power Link 2.0 DC fast-charging system, capable of delivering up to 500 kW. This charging system surpasses the maximum rates at some sites operated by other networks, such as Electrify America. While only a few EV brands can charge at rates up to 350 kW, the Power Link 2.0 system opens up possibilities for even higher charging speeds.
The newly opened Mercedes-Benz HPC site in Atlanta is part of the grand vision to establish 10,000 stations worldwide by 2030. These stations will not only offer fast-charging but also provide amenities such as canopies, security cameras, bathrooms, and onsite staff to ensure safety. This approach is a significant departure from the current scenario, where high-speed charging stations are often located in large parking lots or retrofitted into travel plazas.
It’s important to remember that charging rates may vary based on factors like region, charging standard (CCS or NACS), and vehicle capability. However, as battery technology advances and experience with charging grows, the potential for higher peak charging rates in current and future EVs increases. ChargePoint’s intelligent charge management system will dynamically allocate current among vehicles, allowing them to charge at their highest capable rate.
Mercedes-Benz aims to provide a pleasant and safe customer experience through its HPC network. These stations will be strategically located at dealerships and main traffic areas, ensuring nearby amenities like refreshments, snacks, and restrooms. While all EV drivers can access the charging hubs, Mercedes-Benz drivers can pre-reserve a charging slot using the “me Charge” service to minimize waiting times. The EV’s navigation system will also plan routes incorporating suitable high-speed charging stations.
The ultimate goal is to make EV charging experiences as pleasant and reliable as refueling at a conventional gas station. Luxurious charging hubs with canopies for weather protection, surveillance cameras for safety, and seamless validation and payment processes will enhance user experience. This user-centric approach recognizes that a positive charging experience is pivotal to accelerate the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz is one of the car manufacturers setting up its own EV charging network, following the footsteps of Tesla, Rivian, and Jeep. By choosing ChargePoint hardware that supports faster speeds than its EVs can currently handle, Mercedes-Benz is futureproofing its charging sites for the ongoing EV evolution.
As EV charging infrastructure continues to evolve, amenities at fast-charging sites are likely to become a competitive advantage. Upcoming networks funded by multiple EV makers intend to offer amenities similar to airline lounges, but specific details about these networks are yet to be revealed.
While early adopters may have tolerated charging in less-than-ideal locations, ensuring a pleasant and reliable charging experience becomes crucial for broader EV adoption. Recent data suggests an increase in failed charging attempts and a decrease in EV driver satisfaction. Therefore, carmakers must prioritize creating charging experiences that match or exceed the convenience and comfort of conventional refueling options.
As the Mercedes-Benz HPC network expands, we welcome feedback from EV drivers in Atlanta who explore the newly launched charging stations in Sandy Springs.