On the heels of its German parent’s declaration to be “electric only” by 2030, Mercedes-Benz Canada today unveiled a comprehensive vehicle charging strategy called “Mercedes Me Charge,” featuring major network partners, Plug and Charge functionality and green charging
Mercedes-Benz Canada today announced that drivers of EVs built on its new EQ platform, starting with the EQS sedan arriving in Canada this fall, will enjoy a “clean, digitally integrated, fast and convenient charging experience, both at-home and across Canada,” in a partnership with various charging providers dubbed “Mercedes Me Charge.”
Mercedes Me Charge will give drivers of the EQS (and future EQ-platform EVs) access to more than 4,900 public charging ports affiliated with ChargePoint, FLO and “and other charging providers in Canada” as well as an additional 2,400 semi-public ports (workplaces, malls, hotels) on the ChargePoint network, reads the press release.
This access also comes with Plug and Charge capability, expected to be available for Mercedes Me Charge customers at all ChargePoint stations this fall, with other network providers to follow. Those drivers will have the option of simply plugging in and immediately begin charging without any further interaction. Each transaction will be listed on the owner’s monthly invoice without the need for on-the-spot payment.
“We are speaking with every provider so that our goal of a fully integrated network is in reach. From week-to-week and month-to-month, we have more chargers and a stronger network,” says Nico Dettmer, global head of business development charging and partnerships at Mercedes-Benz, in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada. “Our pressure is on to have the best solution with the goal of having all chargers in our EQ system.”
Mercedes-Benz Canada says roaming access to the 2,400 semi-public chargers is an industry first, and reflects the company’s big-picture plan.
“It’s is not about the car only,” says Dettmer. “We want to have the full package of charging stations available, both public and for at-home charging. Mercedes wants to go above the industry standard, including ensuring all of our dealerships are EV-ready. Our goal is full integration.”
All-electric global strategy
That approach no doubt reflects Mercedes-Benz’ new global “electric only” strategy, which was announced last week. That news marked an acceleration of its “electric first” strategy unveiled last fall.
A highlight of that announcement is a commitment to accelerate its R&D, investing €40 billion (approx. $60 billion) in battery electric vehicle development between 2022 and 2030. Mercedes-Benz also pledged to have an EV available in all segments next year and an all-electric version of every model it makes by 2025, at which point it will also stop developing any further internal combustion models. From 2030, the company says it will make and sell nothing but EVs.
“The EV shift is picking up speed — especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs. The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.
Another key feature in Mercedes-Benz Canada’s new charging strategy is a pledge to provide “green charging” on the Mercedes Me Charge network. To achieve it, the company says it will ensure “that an equivalent amount of electricity from renewable resources is fed into the grid” to offset all the electricity used in charging its vehicles.
“Our goal is to reach full transparency by 2039 and reduce the carbon footprint for the supply chain,” says Dettmer. “We want to ensure that the use phase is neutral and that each and every kilowatt-hour is fed into the grid by renewable sources.”
Mercedes is also promoting a home-charging package in conjunction with equipment provider FLO and installer Qmerit. Buyers have the option of linking it to their vehicle financing or leasing package. According to Dettmer, it’s an example of lessons learned in other markets of how to integrate with partners to grow the network and offer new features. When it comes to green charging, however, Dettmer says it only applies to the public network.
The electric lineup
Each EQS purchased in Canada includes three years’ worth of Mercedes Me Charge and green charging. When asked about the company’s planned rollout of upcoming EV models, Dettmer and Mercedes-Benz Canada provided the following outlook.
Following the EQS sedan this fall comes the EQE luxury sedan and the EQS SUV, produced at Mercedes’ plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 2022. An EQE SUV will be added shortly thereafter and another electric crossover SUV, the seven-seat EQB, is also planned. Mercedes says more details on releases will follow in the coming months.
Dettmer says that while getting electric Mercedes vehicles onto Canadian roads is an important step, having a rock-solid, seamless Plug and Charge solution in place is just as essential. “We have a broad and full package for a 360-degree charging solution for all use cases, which is not easy to find. We are proud to get these solutions ready for the Canadian market, and are committed to being EV-ready with charging easily available with our payment process covering the existing integrated system.”
The ultimate goal, says Dettmer, is to “ensure that there are enough stations so that our customers can drive from the east to the west coast with no accessibility challenges.”