Mercedes-Benz opens its first branded Charging Hub in Europe, but with slower rates than US

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Less than two weeks after cutting the ribbon on its first Charging Hub in the US, Mercedes-Benz has begun operations at its first location in Europe. Can you guess where? Don’t think too hard…

This past January, Mercedes-Benz announced plans for a new global network of fast charging hubs during a press conference at CES. The initial announcement included plans to roll out 2,000 Mercedes branded hubs around the world – including North America, Europe, and China – by the end of the decade.

A large portion of our initial coverage surrounding the charging network remained focused on North America and Mercedes’ partner in the venture – Chargepoint. Together, the companies opened the first Charging Hub in mid-November at Mercedes-Benz’s US headquarters near Atlanta.

Since then, two locations in China (Chengdu and Foshan) have become operational as well. Today, Mercedes announced a fourth Charging Hub opening – the first in Europe – furthering its global presence of EV infrastructure.

Mercedes’ first Charging Hub in Europe comes to Germany

Where else?

Mercedes recently cut the ribbon on its first Charging Hub in Europe, located in Mannheim in the Rhine-Main-Neckar region, described by Mercedes as one of Germany’s most important transport corridors. Attending the opening ceremony was Germany’s federal minister for digital and transport, Dr. Volker Wissing, who publicly supported the automaker’s bolstering of local EV infrastructure:

Charging has to be as easy as refueling. This is the only way we can increase the willingness to switch to climate-friendly electric cars. It is the common goal of politics and business to make electric mobility attractive for citizens. We need a committed automotive industry that stands together with us and, in addition to delivering electric vehicles, also contributes to the forward-looking expansion of the charging infrastructure. We have already successfully achieved this year’s goal of 100,000 public charging points. This is an incentive for us to continue to work hard to close gaps. The Mercedes-Benz Charging Hub in Mannheim is an important step towards densifying the charging infrastructure. I am particularly pleased that it is open to all users.

Mercedes-Benz says it will continue to grow its charging network in Europe with the help of energy expert E.ON – the automaker’s EU equivalent to Chargepoint in North America. The Mannheim hub provides six individual charging piles, each with a single port to ensure local EV drivers receive the maximum output rates available.

To that note, the automaker says each of the E.ON charging piles in Europe can offer rates up to 300 kW – significantly lower than the 400 kW fast chargers currently in operation at Mercedes’ US Charging Hub, but still relatively speedy for the industry as a whole.

Just like in North America, Mercedes’ entire network of Charging Hubs will be open to all EV models, many of which cannot surpass charge rates of 300 kW anyways. That narrative is changing however, as more and more 800V platforms are hitting the market.

Looking ahead, The automaker shared plans to open more Charging Hubs in the US and China before year’s end. In 2024, Mercedes-Benz intends to add new Charging Hubs in Germany, as well as other countries in Europe like Italy, Spain, and France. Its goal is to have over 2,000 available fast charging points around the globe by the end of 2024 en route to over 10,000 by 2030.

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