Mercedes-Benz announced its new electric vehicles will adopt a Tesla-style North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug as of 2025. In addition, it plans to grow its own network of proprietary charging stations, that will also feature the charger.
“Our strategic priority is clear: Building the world’s most desirable cars,” said Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz chairman. That’s why “we are also implementing NACS in our vehicles, allowing drivers to access an expansive network of high-quality charging offerings in North America.”
As with other third-party automakers adopting the NACS plug, Mercedes-Benz will offer customers an adapter that allows its existing vehicles---which use the Combined Charging System, or CCS plug---to use Tesla’s Supercharger network as of 2024. A year later, the new plug will be built into its vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz is the largest European automaker to adopt the NACS plug so far, though its announcement follows similar promises from Volvo and Polestar. The decision is noteworthy, as it will require the companies to offer a different plug in North America than in their home market, where the CCS standard is used.
In addition to Mercedes-Benz and the two Swedish brands, American automakers Ford, GM and Rivian have all also said they will adopt the NACS standard in the coming years. Stellantis, Volkswagen and Hyundai are also reportedly considering making the switch.
Mercedes-Benz will not only change the plugs in its electric vehicles, though. It also announced NACS plugs will be offered at its High-Power Charging Network. The first stations will be opened in the fourth quarter of 2023, and it plans to establish more than 2,000 charging hubs in North America, Europe, China and other markets by the end of the ’20s.
In all, Mercedes-Benz said these locations will offer EV owners 10,000 charging points worldwide. In addition to NACS plugs, it will also offer CCS plugs, which are the standard in Europe and elsewhere. The automaker said its stations will set a new standard for EV infrastructure.
“With the development of Mercedes-Benz’s new North American High-Power Charging Network, we are ready to redefine the electric vehicle charging experience,” said Andrew Cornelia, CEO of Mercedes-Benz HPC North America. “We’re building on our strong brand promise here by leveraging the renowned quality, reputation and customer focus for which Mercedes-Benz has been known for well over a century.”