Mercedes-Benz SA, BEE partner to roll out 127 electric vehicle charging stations

24th November 2023 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) will roll out 127 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the country in a R40-million investment.

As demand for EVs continues to grow, “ensuring robust infrastructure” for these vehicles is essential, says the local arm of the German vehicle manufacturer.

MBSA is collaborating with Chargify, a Level 2 black economic empowerment company.

The roll-out will include alternating current and fast-charging direct current charging stations along the country’s main routes and between metropolitan areas, as well as at airports, shopping malls, restaurant hubs, private hospitals, strategic expansion sites, residential estates and small towns throughout South Africa.

“The partnership with Chargify not only gives us the opportunity to grow . . . the local EV charging network, but also reaffirms MBSA’s ambition to expand its enterprise and supplier development (ESD) portfolio,” says MBSA human resources and corporate affairs executive director Abey Kgotle.

“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,” he continued.

This investment is also aimed at providing current customers with a reliable charging network, and instilling confidence in those customers that are considering the switch to EV ownership.

MBSA’s initial investment in the EQ charging network amounts to R15-million, with an additional R25-million earmarked for the second phase of the roll-out.

Phase 1 involves the installation of 67 Mercedes-Benz EQ-branded charging stations across South Africa by the first quarter of next year.

Phase 2 will add 60 additional charging stations, bringing the total number of EQ-branded charging stations to 127.

Locations already featuring the charging infrastructure include BT Ngebs Mall and Mayfair Hotel, in Mthatha; Woodhill Estate and Country Club; Da Vinci Hotel, in Sandton; Champagne Castle, in the Drakensberg; Highwaymans, in Pilgrims Rest; the Courtyard Sandton; and the Silvermist Wine Estate, MBSA said..

Other locations currently in the installation phase include the Plettenberg Hotel; Wilderness Hotel; Swartberg Hotel, in Prince Albert; and Karoo Junction Mall, in Beaufort West.

While EQ customers can charge at any charge point in the country, they will benefit from a 10% discount when charging through the Chargify network.

“MBSA is accelerating the pace of eMobility transformation within the automotive industry,” says MBSA co-CEO and Mercedes-Benz Cars executive director Mark Raine.

“Next to offering the most extensive and diverse all-EV 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,”

he concluded.