Mercedes-Benz South Africa is advancing its sustainability strategy for South Africa through a substantial investment in the local electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. As the demand for EVs continues to grow, ensuring a robust infrastructure is essential. Mercedes-Benz South Africa boasts the country’s most extensive range of electric vehicles, including the EQ and EQ AMG models, particularly in the SUV category. To support this, Mercedes-Benz South Africa is taking proactive steps to expand the local charging network by investing in over 120 charging stations across South Africa.
In collaboration with Chargify, a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) company, Mercedes-Benz is working to expand its presence in the local charging infrastructure. Chargify is actively deploying AC and fast charging DC charging stations along the main routes, between metropolitan areas, including airports, shopping malls, restaurant hubs, private hospitals, strategic expansion sites, residential estates and small towns throughout South Africa.
Abey Kgotle, Executive Director: Human Resources & Corporate Affairs Mercedes-Benz South Africa noted that “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.”
Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s initial investment in the EQ charging network amounts to R15 million, with an additional R25 million earmarked for the second phase of the rollout.
Phase 1 involves the installation of 67 Mercedes-Benz EQ branded charging stations across South Africa by quarter one of 2024. This investment is aimed at not only providing current customers with a reliable charging network but also instilling confidence in those considering the switch to electric vehicle ownership.
Phase 2 will see the implementation of over 60 additional charging stations, bringing the total to 127 Mercedes-Benz EQ-branded charging stations, strategically positioned in key areas.
Already, some locations feature Mercedes-Benz EQ branded charging infrastructure, including BT Ngebs Mall and Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha – 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.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Chargify are both actively working to build South Africa’s most extensive EV public charging network. 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.
In his remark, Mark Raine co-CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars, said that “Mercedes-Benz South Africa is accelerating the pace of eMobility transformation within the automotive industry. Next to offering the most extensive and diverse all-electric vehicle portfolio in the market, we want to provide not only our customers but all EV drivers the luxury and peace of mind of a comprehensive charging network and with the installation of over 100 electric vehicle charging stations across South Africa fulfilling our strategic objectives of creating sustainable ecosystems in support of our all-electric strategy.”