Outside of dreaded range anxiety, many electric vehicle (EV) owners have been frustrated by charging rates. And for good reason: determining what the rate for a charge will cost varies by location, charging network, and time of day.
While a kilowatt-hour is a straightforward concept that calculates how much it might cost to charge an EV at home, the above factors make calculating the cost of charging on the road much more complicated. Charging times can also vary, depending on just as many factors.
However, using ChargePoint technology, Mercedes-Benz's new High Power Charging (HPC) network looks to offer much faster charging times and better overall charging experience than networks such as Electrify America currently provide.
What Makes Mercedes-Benz's New High Power Charging Network Different.
Due to its innovative ChargePoint hardware, Mercedes' HPC network can potentially charge up to 500 kW, which is 150 kW faster than the highest-rated Electrify America charging network can muster at 350 kW. What makes this remarkable is that most EVs can't even charge at a rate that fast.
It's rare for an EV (think a high-end German monster like Porsche) to even be able to charge at a 350 kW rate.
According to ChargePoint, their chargers are so fast because of their Power Link 2.0 DC fast-charging system. That system utilizes what ChargePoint refers to as a “Power Block,” which can house up to five Power Modules that can charge different vehicles simultaneously.
These Mercedes HPCs will use intelligent charge management to determine each vehicle's appropriate charging rate based on their charging curves. Each vehicle will have a different optimal charging rate based on factors like how low the battery is, battery temperature, and external temperature.
Essentially, intelligent charge management will allow each driver to charge their vehicle as quickly and efficiently as possible. Just imagine, as more EVs with 800-volt architecture make their way onto our roads if the conditions are right – we'll see some blindingly fast charging times!
For now, Mercedes has specified that charging at their HCP sites will be around 400 kW though this will also vary by each region and its charging standard. For example, North America, Europe, and China all use different standards, with those being the NACS (Tesla), CCS2, and GB/T, respectively.)
Where Mercedes's First High Power Charging Network Stations Are Opening
Atlanta, Georgia, is the first Mercedes HPC to open in the United States. Elsewhere, HPC sites in Mannheim, Germany, and Chengdu, China, opened this week. And, of course, something isn't on brand for Mercedes if it isn't luxurious. Their HPC networks will feature conveniences such as onsite staff, canopies, bathrooms, and security cameras.
That's considerably nicer than pulling up to a charging site that's been retrofitted into the corner of a massive parking lot outside of your local Target.
Mercedes hopes to have opened 10,000 HPC sites worldwide by the end of the decade.