Mercedes and BMW found joint venture for HPC network in China

BMW and Mercedes-Benz have founded their joint venture to construct EV fast chargers in China. The joint venture is called Beijing Ion Qi New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. and is based in Beijing's Chaoyang district.

Image: BMW

The joint venture, in which Mercedes-Benz Group China and BMW Brilliance Automotive each hold a 50 per cent stake, aims to establish a charging network of at least 1,000 locations with a total of around 7,000 fast-charging points by the end of 2026 – using “state-of-the-art charging technologies.” There is no information on the exact size of the charging parks. The first locations should open this year, initially in cities with a particularly high density of EVs. Later, the stations will be installed nationwide.

The fast-charging network of the two car manufacturers will be publicly accessible and available for all vehicle brands. However, Mercedes-Benz and BMW customers will benefit from several exclusive functions such as Plug&Charge and reserving charging points in advance.

China is an important market for both manufacturers. According to a CAM study, BMW and Mercedes each almost doubled their BEV sales from January to September 2023 alone – to 247,000 (+93%) and 175,000 (+90%) units, respectively. BMW currently sells six pure electric vehicles in China. The manufacturer presented the BMW i5 for the Chinese market in August 2023.

According to Car News China, the Bavarian company also operates 54 fast-charging stations with up to 600 kW of power in 17 Chinese cities as part of its BMW Supercharging Station project (as of January 2024). These stations are also accessible to all manufacturers.

In January, Mercedes-Benz announced plans to set up its own high-power charging network in North America, Europe, China, and other core markets. It has since opened the first HPC network locations in Chinathe USA and Europe. After Atlanta (USA), where Mercedes is relying on MN8 Energy as its partner for the construction, Chengdu (China) and Foshan (China), Mannheim was already the fourth fast-charging park that Mercedes-Benz has put into operation worldwide.

The car manufacturer plans to expand its global fast-charging network to over 2,000 charging points by the end of 2024, including more than 200 in Europe. By the end of the decade, more than 2,000 of its own charging parks with over 10,000 fast-charging points are planned worldwide.

BMW and Mercedes first presented the joint charging network in November 2023. In January, the joint venture got the green light from Brussels – the EU had no objections to the cooperation “given the limited impact on the European Economic Area.”


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