Mercedes-Benz is the latest of several automakers to announce plans to adopt the Tesla charging connector and grant its customers access to Tesla's vast charging network, though Mercedes is still moving ahead with plans for its own upscale charging network for its customers.
Mercedes EV owners will be able to use the Tesla charging network starting in 2024, the automaker announced on Friday. An adapter will allow existing Mercedes EVs, which use the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) connector, to interface with Tesla's connector, which Tesla has styled as the North American Charging Standard (NACS).
New Mercedes EVs will have a Tesla connector built-in starting in 2025 in the North American region, but the automaker didn't say whether it would phase out CCS and use the Tesla connector exclusively.
Mercedes confirmed that it is still planning its own charging network, but now with both NACS and CCS connectors. Announced at the 2023 CES earlier this year, the charging network will consist of 400 "charging hubs" with more than 2,500 individual chargers in North America by the end of the decade. That will be much smaller than the Tesla network, which currently has more than 12,000 chargers in North America.
Mercedes-Benz EV charging network
"To accelerate the shift to electric vehicles, we are dedicated to elevating the entire EV experience for our customers—including fast, convenient, and reliable charging solutions wherever their Mercedes-Benz takes them," Ola Källenius, Mercedes' CEO, said in a statement.
Ford and General Motors have made similar deals with Tesla to use its charging network, and have also announced plans to use the NACS connector in future vehicles. They were soon followed by Rivian, Volvo, and Polestar. Hyundai, Volkswagen Group, and Stellantis have all indicated they may follow suit.