Fuel & Energy News South Africa

Mercedes-Benz accelerates SA's EV landscape with over 100 new charging hubs

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has announced that it will be making an investment of R40m in South Africa to create additional electric vehicle charging stations across the country in collaboration with Chargify.
Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

The Three-Pointed Star aims to build 127 charging stations in two phases. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2024. Following this, Phase 2 is set to begin at the end of Q1 2024, with the goal of reaching completion ideally by the end of the same year.

During the first phase, R15m will be used to build 67 charging stations. In the second phase, an amount of R25m is earmarked for 60 stations, which will bring the total to 127.

When it comes to whether the stations will be AC or DC, co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and executive director of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Mark Raine, told Bizcommunity that an 80/20 split has been allocated for Phase 1 with 80% of the chargers being AC and 20% being DC.

"Phase 2 will have a higher DC share relative to Phase 1. In terms of distribution, we have DC chargers installed and planned for across the country including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Mthatha, Richards Bay and the Kruger," Raine said.

MBSA said the stations will be built in strategic key areas in the country. These areas are the main routes between metropolitan areas, which include airports, shopping malls, restaurant hubs, private hospitals, strategic expansion sites, residential estates and small towns throughout South Africa.

Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

"With this installation, an EV driver can now travel from Durban to Cape Town; Woodhill Estate and Country Club; Da Vinci Hotel in Sandton; Champagne Castle in Drakensberg; Highwaymans in Pilgrims Rest; Courtyard Sandton, and Silvermist Wine Estate.

"Other locations, such as Plettenberg Hotel, Wilderness Hotel, Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert, and Karoo Junction Mall in Beaufort West to name a few are currently in the installation phase," MBSA said in a press statement. Other locations included on the planned grid are BT Ngebs Mall and Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha.

ESD programme and job creation

Raine said MBSA seeks to increase economic activity within the automotive supply chain and bring about transformation in the industry with this investment. "To this effect, Chargify works in partnership with local service providers to carry out installation work across all nine provinces. This contributes to locational job creation and community development," he said.

"The partnership with Chargify not only gives us the opportunity to grow the share of the local EV charging network but also reaffirms Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s ambition to expand its enterprise and supplier development (ESD) portfolio. Our ESD programme is aimed at making a real and lasting impact towards the transformation of the country through the creation of sustainable and meaningful jobs."

South Africa's most extensive EV public charging network

MBSA said it's actively working to build South Africa's most extensive EV public charging network along with Chargify.

"By fostering relationships with sites across the country and establishing professional partnerships, Chargify is contributing to the growth of this network. Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Chargify are creating a landscape of EV chargers to support the EV revolution and ensuring the network's smooth operation by collaborating with operational partners like GridCars. Notably, all Mercedes-Benz EQ customers will benefit from a 10% discount when charging via the Chargify network," the luxury carmaker said.

About Imran Salie

Bizcommunity Editor: Automotive, Entrepreneurship, Education
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