Mercedes-Benz on Thursday released more details on charging for its 2022 EQS flagship electric luxury sedan. The automaker hopes to build a brand-specific ecosystem of services that can later be used for other Mercedes EVs.
The EQS will support the Plug & Charge standard, which allows drivers to simply plug in at a public station to start charging, without any need to swipe a credit card or tap a touchscreen. In a press release, Mercedes said will be able to activate charging through a vehicle's infotainment screen, an app, or a card.
That requires customers to have a payment method tied to a specific vehicle, which customers can set up using a Mercedes Me user account. This will allow for a variety of other services, including route planning and finding specific stations, the automaker said.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS
Mercedes is partnering with ChargePoint for that functionality, but the automaker said drivers will also be able to access charging stations on other networks, totaling about 60,000 locations in the United States.
EQS drivers will also get an unlimited number of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America DC fast-charging stations for the first two years after activating a Mercedes Me account, starting in 2021.
Several automakers offer free charging (Audi just announced three years of free Electrify America charging for E-Tron GT owners), and Plug & Charge is becoming a prerequisite for EVs, but what could set Mercedes apart is the so-called Green Charging feature. This proprietary feature "ensures that an equivalent amount of electricity from renewable resources is fed into the grid," helping to lower a vehicle's overall carbon footprint and create more demand for renewable energy, according to the automaker.
So the more charging you do via the app, the more Mercedes-Benz will offset with renewable energy.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS
Mercedes isn't the only automaker looking to build its own charging ecosystem.
Rivian is taking a different tack, with a backcountry-themed charging network and a mix of publicly accessible chargers and private ones. General Motors is planning brand apps that will translate cleanly from phone to car, find charging stations, and initiate "one click" charging.
There's a certain level of self-interest in this, as charging-network interfaces keep people in the ecosystem and are a future hub for revenue.