Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is currently to working together with Tibco’s Chargify in an effort to roll out 127 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in South Africa.
At a total cost of R40 million, the new sites will be consisting of a mix of AC and DC chargers, which will be rolled out in two phases. The companies said that the aim of the investment is not only to provide current customers with a reliable charging network, but also instilling confidence in those considering the switch to electric vehicle ownership.
The target for the rollout is the main routes, between metropolitan areas, airports, shopping malls, restaurant hubs, private hospitals, strategic expansion sites, residential estates, and small towns.
The first phase will be consistent of 67 Mercedes-Benz EQ-branded charging being installed across South Africa by the end of the first quarter of 2024. Afterwards, the remaining 60 stations will be built in “key areas” in the second phase.
The completion date for the latest phase of the Mercedes-Benz and Chargify’s EV charging station expansion remains undisclosed.
At the current moment, EQ-branded charging stations are operational at various locations, including BT Ngebs Mall and Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha, Courtyard Sandton in Johannesburg, Champagne Castle in Drakensberg, Da Vinci Hotel in Sandton, Highwaymans Garage in Pilgrim’s Rest, Silvermist Wine Estate in Hout Bay, and Woodhill Estate and Country Club.
Upcoming installations are underway at Plettenberg Hotel, Wilderness Hotel, Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert, and Karoo Junction Mall in Beaufort West. Both companies are actively working to establish the most extensive public EV charging network in the country.
Mercedes-Benz currently offers six EV models in South Africa, starting with the affordable EQA250 Progressive, priced at R1.176 million. Owners of Mercedes-Benz EQ models will benefit from a 10% discount on recharges at the new stations, which will also be accessible to other users, including those utilizing the GridCars ActiveCharge network.
GridCars, South Africa’s largest EV charging network operator, has around 400 public and private charging stations across the country, developed in collaboration with manufacturers like Audi and Jaguar. Another prominent operator, Rubicon, plans to expand its charging stations to 250 by the end of 2024, including 20–30 new 50kW DC charging stations with AC adapters at Volvo dealerships.
Considering the ongoing efforts by MBSA/Chargify and the existing 400 stations, South Africa could have approximately 700 charging stations in just over a year’s time, significantly boosting the country’s EV infrastructure.That does not include other charging stations to be rolled out by GridCars or smaller operators like Zero Carbon Charge.