Mercedes opens first HPC hub in the USA – with new ChargePoint hardware
Following the opening of a Mercedes “Charging Hub” in China a few days ago (with just four charging points and no roof), the charging park in Sandy Springs is one of the announced flagship locations. At its headquarters, Mercedes-Benz USA has installed ten charging points with up to 400 kW. The area has a rooftop with solar panels and eye-catching LED lighting underneath the roof. Coloured status LEDs are also integrated into the pillars supporting the roof. That makes it possible to recognise whether the charging station is free, reserved or occupied from a distance.
The charging stations themselves are a new model from ChargePoint. ChargePoint also announced its first large-scale deployment of its “Express Plus Power Link 2000” product in a separate press release. The DC fast charging platform, which enables charging speeds of up to 500 kW, was presented as hardware and software for the Mercedes-Benz HPC public charging network in North America.
When asked by electrive, ChargePoint stated that the Mercedes-Benz hubs are “primarily powered by ChargePoint.” A spokesperson said an initial agreement from January envisaged 400 locations with more than 2,500 charging points. We have summarised further details on the new charging station in this article.
Back to Sandy Springs: as announced by Mercedes, the charging park there is open to all brands. However, special functions, such as reserving a charging point, are only available to Mercedes customers. There is no mention of whether the adjoining lounge with sofas, deckchairs, vending machines and toilets is only open to Mercedes customers or the general public.
The loading bay next to the lounge is designed as a barrier-free loading bay. On the other side, there is another charging bay that is not covered and is designed as a drive-through facility. Electric vans and vehicles with trailers can also charge there easily.
The location in Sandy Springs is the “benchmark” for further facilities that will open this year in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Georgia – some of them at Buc-ee’s partner locations. The opening of the first charging hub at a Simon Property Group shopping centre is scheduled for the first half of 2024 – Mercedes announced the partnership to install charging parks at 55 locations of the shopping mall operator a few weeks ago. Together with MN8 Energy, the specially founded subsidiary Mercedes-Benz HPC North America plans to invest one billion dollars in developing its own North American charging network by 2030.
“The Mercedes-Benz Charging Network expands global charging options for customers of all EV brands to promote clean, electric mobility,” said Franz Reiner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG. “In North America, our strategy is clear: focusing on where EV drivers are and where they are going to enhance the North American EV charging map while setting new standards for quality and customer experience. These efforts will pave the way for greater EV adoption here in North America and around the world.”
“At the onset of MN8’s partnership with Mercedes-Benz to build an unparalleled charging experience, we shared a vision of bringing the decarbonised future faster,” said Jon Yoder, President and CEO of MN8 Energy. “The incredible speed with which we’ve made that vision a reality, demonstrated by the inauguration of the charging experience here at Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters and the sites that will follow later this year, is a testament to the strength of our purpose and outstanding abilities of our teams.”