German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz issue a joint statement saying they will create a joint venture to roll out a battery-electric vehicle charging network in China.
The move underlines the automakers’ ambitions in the huge BEV market potential of the country leading the world in adoption of the technology.
Both have agreed to establish a 50:50 joint venture to operate a high-power charging network and to provide Chinese consumers with a branded premium charging service. The automakers, which have been trading in the populous nation for several decades, hope to apply expertise gained from both global and Chinese charging operations to deliver fast, convenient, reliable and tailor-made charging solutions for the Chinese market.
The joint venture expects to establish a network of more than 1,000 high-power charging stations with about 7,000 charging piles by the end of 2026. The first stations are expected to open for business in 2024 in top new energy-accessible regions, with further stations to be installed nationwide.
The charging network initially will target BMW and Mercedes-Benz customers but also will be open to the broader public. However, brand customers additionally will be able to access a series of exclusive features, such as plug-and-charge and online charging reservations. The joint venture aims to buy electricity generated from renewable sources where it’s available.