Mercedes-Benz SA Invests in Extensive EV Charging Network
Mercedes-Benz South Africa is reinforcing its commitment to transforming the automotive industry and transitioning towards electric mobility by significantly investing in the local electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. This initiative includes a partnership with Chargify, a Level 2 BBBEE company, as part of Mercedes-Benz South Africa's Enterprise and Supplier Development efforts. Their ongoing investment plan involves installing more than 120 EV charging stations throughout South Africa.
In Pretoria, Mercedes-Benz South Africa is advancing its sustainability strategy by focusing on the local EV charging infrastructure. With the growing demand for EVs, having a robust charging network is crucial. Mercedes-Benz South Africa offers an extensive range of electric vehicles, including EQ and EQ AMG models, particularly in the SUV category. The company is proactively expanding the local charging network by investing in over 120 charging stations across South Africa to support this.
In collaboration with Chargify, a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) company, Mercedes-Benz is working to enhance its presence in the local charging infrastructure. Chargify is actively deploying AC and fast-charging DC stations along major routes, connecting metropolitan areas, airports, shopping malls, restaurant hubs, private hospitals, strategic expansion sites, residential estates, and small towns throughout South Africa.
Abey Kgotle, Executive Director of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Mercedes-Benz South Africa, stated, 'The partnership with Chargify not only allows us to expand the local EV charging network but also reaffirms Mercedes-Benz South Africa's commitment to expanding its Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) portfolio. Our ESD program aims to make a tangible and lasting impact on the country by creating sustainable and meaningful jobs.'
Mercedes-Benz South Africa's initial investment in the EQ charging network is R15 million, with an additional R25 million designated for the second expansion phase. Phase 1 involves installing 67 Mercedes-Benz EQ branded charging stations across South Africa by the first quarter of 2024. This investment aims to provide current customers with a reliable charging network and instil confidence in those considering the switch to electric vehicles. Phase 2 will see over 60 additional charging stations implemented, bringing the total to 127 Mercedes-Benz EQ-branded charging stations strategically positioned in critical areas.
Several locations already feature Mercedes-Benz EQ branded charging infrastructure, including BT Ngebs Mall and Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha, enabling EV drivers to travel from Durban to Cape Town. Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Chargify are actively working together to build South Africa's most extensive EV public charging network. They are fostering relationships with sites nationwide and collaborating with operational partners like GridCars to ensure smooth network operation. All Mercedes-Benz EQ customers will enjoy a 10% discount when charging via the Chargify network.
Mark Raine, co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars, emphasised, 'Mercedes-Benz South Africa is accelerating mobility transformation within the automotive industry. In addition to offering the most extensive and diverse all-electric vehicle portfolio in the market, we aim to provide our customers and all EV drivers with the luxury and peace of mind of a comprehensive charging network. Our installation of over 100 electric vehicle charging stations across South Africa aligns with our strategic objectives to create sustainable ecosystems supporting our all-electric strategy.'