Under the microscope: Charging: Charging options: flexible, fast, uncomplicated

Oct 10, 2018

Whether at home via a wallbox, while shopping, at work or ultra-fast on the motorway: there are various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Intelligently networked charging solutions focussed on the mobility and convenience needs of customers are an integral part of the new product and technology brand EQ. Each Mercedes-Benz and smart electric vehicle is equipped with charging technology that is suitable for the vehicle concept and intended purpose.

The Mercedes-Benz Plug-in Hybrids, the GLC F-CELL (combined hydrogen consumption 0.34 kg/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, combined electrical consumption 13.7 kWh/100 km)1 and the EQC (combined electrical consumption 22.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, provisional figures)2 are fitted as standard with a water-cooled on-board charger with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making them suitable for two-phase alternating current (AC) charging either at home or at public charging stations. The smart brand's EQ models have a 4.6 kW on-board charger as standard, and can optionally be equipped with a particularly efficient AC quick-charger with a charging capacity of 22 kW.The charging time required for a full charge depends on the available infrastructure and the country-specific vehicle equipment. Charging at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox, which allows a charging capacity of up to 22 kW, is much faster than at a domestic power socket (depending on the particular vehicle).

Public quick-charging stations using direct current (DC) are also becoming increasingly popular, e.g. via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA, CHAdeMO in Japan, or the GB/T standard in China. With the market launch of the new EQC, Mercedes-Benz is adding this technology to its charging range, giving its customers the option of charging the battery at a suitable charging station with a maximum output of up to 110 kW, depending on the SoC (Status of Charge), which shortens the charging time significantly. It then takes around 40 minutes to charge from 10-80 percent SoC (provisional figures). In future the system will allow a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. Agreement on the European Combined Charging Standard CCS, which Daimler has advanced together with other partners in recent years, also facilitates the development of a comprehensive quick-charging network.

The new Mercedes-Benz/smart Wallbox: quick-charging in the home

Charging at home becomes even more convenient with the new-generation Mercedes-Benz/smart Wallbox: this home charging station is more powerful than ever, and for the first time makes it possible to control various functions from a smartphone, for example.

The new-generation home charging station has an elegant housing design with cable management. Customers can choose between three versions: the basic Wallbox Home (available since June 2018), the internet-capable Wallbox Advanced and the Wallbox Twin (both expected to become available in the first half of 2019) for simultaneous charging of two vehicles. All variants are available from Mercedes-Benz and smart sales partners.

The intelligent Advanced and Twin wallboxes are internet-capable, feature a built-in electricity meter, and allow access control by RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). This makes it possible to manage several vehicles with different users. The new Wallbox Web App makes it possible for charging control, user management, charging statistics and cost-optimised charging during off-peak periods to be adjusted very simply from a smartphone.

The Mercedes-Benz/smart Wallbox makes charging at home up to three times faster than at a domestic power socket. Thanks to standardisation of the Wallbox charging socket, not only Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles can be charged, but also electric vehicles by other manufacturers. With a capacity of up to 22 kW (or 2x11 kW in the case of the Wallbox Twin), the Wallboxes are prepared for even faster charging of future vehicle generations with more powerful on-board chargers.

Convenient charging and payment

The infrastructure of public charging stations is diverse and developing all the time. In Europe alone, there are well in excess of 200 different charging station operators in public places (cities, car parks, motorways, shopping centres etc.). Daimler has set itself the goal of making access to these charging stations as convenient as possible for customers.

EQ-optimised navigation and Mercedes me allow Mercedes-Benz customers to locate public charging stations quickly. The system covers up to 90 percent of the available infrastructure. Starting with the EQC, they also have convenient access to the appropriately linked charging stations via Mercedes me Charge and benefit from an integrated payment function with easy accounting - including at the stations of IONITY, the European quick-charging network. The objective: relaxed, uncomplicated travel with transparency and planning certainty

smart EQ control App: the perfect digital companion

smart is making it easier to access electric mobility: the new smart EQ control App – a digital extension for the smart EQ models – launched in August. A great deal of vehicle-specific information such as the current charge status, plus control of vehicle functions such as pre-entry climate control, are combined in this app and are displayed in personalised form. Other new features include intelligent push notifications that give the user suggestions based on anticipated conditions.

Greater quick-charging options

In future Mercedes me Charge will also allow access to the quick-charging stations of the pan-European network IONITY among others. The network uses the European Combined Charging System (CCS) standard. The prospective charging capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point will make much shorter charging times possible for appropriately designed vehicles compared with currently available systems. This ensures a pleasant trip, especially on long journeys. By 2020 IONITY will construct and operate around 400 quick-charging stations along the main traffic arteries in Europe. IONITY was founded in November 2017 as a joint venture by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen group with Audi and Porsche.

For companies and fleet operators Mercedes-Benz also offers intelligent charging solutions with which fleet managers can monitor and account for all charging processes. Even the accounting for costs incurred by drivers of company cars for charging at home is integrated.

On track for growth: the hydrogen filling station network

By founding the multi-sectoral joint venture H2 MOBILITY Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG in 2015, the six industrial companies Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total paved the way for the gradual expansion of the Germany-wide network of hydrogen (H2) filling stations to up to 400 stations. Since the foundation of the multi-sector joint venture, the network of H2 refuelling stations in Germany has continued to grow apace: H2 Mobility is delivering one hydrogen filling station every two weeks on average in 2018. This means that there will likely be around 100 public hydrogen stations for passenger cars in Germany in 2019. Moves are also under way to create public hydrogen filling station networks in neighbouring EU states such as Denmark, the UK, Norway, France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Similar infrastructure projects are also moving forward on an international basis. Particularly Japan, but also the USA and South Korea, are readying themselves for a growing market for fuel cell powered electric vehicles. 

1 Figures for fuel consumption, electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification process in accordance with the WLTP test method and correlated into NEDC figures. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible. 

2 Figures for electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the Technical Service. The range figures are also provisional. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.