Mercedes and BMW are rivals but have decided to jointly build a charging stations network in China to boost sales of premium electric cars.
Mercedes and BMW are bitter rivals but there have been instances in history when the two manufacturers have joined forces for various partnerships. Several years ago, the two premium manufacturers had a joint car-sharing division in some countries, but it wasn’t very successful.
Now, the two manufacturers are planning to build a network of at least 1,000 charging stations in China with around 7,000 charging points by the end of 2026.
Sales of premium electric models from European premium manufacturers are being hit hard in China by local competition that now has a few brands that can rival BMW and Mercedes but at lower prices. We talk primarily about the Nio brand, but there are also Ayways and BYD. Sales of Mercedes EQE and EQS models are falling in China.
That’s why Mercedes and BMW have set up a 50-50 joint venture to build the 1,000 stations. The first stations will be operational from 2024, with the network to be completed by the end of 2026. The station network will be open to the general public, but Mercedes and BMW customers will have some exclusive facilities such as plug & charge and online reservations.