Mercedes-Benz and BMW are cooperating to build a supercharging network, which will not only serve the brand. Is the battle for energy recharging about to begin?

"BBA" has big news again.

On November 30, Mercedes-Benz announced that it would establish a joint venture with BMW in China to build and operate a supercharging network.

You may ask, what about Audi?

Yes, this news has nothing to do with Audi . Two of the three German companies have decided to "join forces" in China, but Audi is not among them.

Deweier’s charging network, see you in 2024

The announcement issued by Mercedes-Benz has all three elements of time, place and person:

  • The first batch of supercharger stations are planned to begin construction and operation in 2024
  • The first batch of super charging stations are located in "key new energy cities"
  • Provide exclusive services to Mercedes-Benz and BMW owners, and are also open to the public

By the end of 2026, the joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and BMW plans to build at least 1,000 supercharging stations with "advanced technology" and about 7,000 supercharging piles.

For comparison, Tesla currently has more than 1,800 super charging stations in mainland China.

In this joint venture to be established, the equity ratio of Mercedes-Benz and BMW is 50:50, each holding half, which can be said to be evenly matched. However, if there are disagreements in such a structure, it is unknown whether it will affect the progress of decision-making.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW are so in sync with each other because their self-built charging networks are far behind new forces.

None of them have the confidence.

At the Chengdu Auto Show in August 2023, Mercedes-Benz and BMW both announced that they would build their own super charging stations in China. Of course, at that time, they were still operating independently.

But you said it was a coincidence, and you just thought of going together.

After the Chengdu Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz began construction. As of now, Mercedes-Benz has one self-built super charging station in Chengdu and Foshan. Looking at the world, Mercedes-Benz has a total of 4 self-built super charging stations .

In terms of high emotional intelligence, this means that up to 50% of the resources have been invested in China, which is taken very seriously. As for low emotional intelligence… I won’t say much more.

Of course, establishing a joint venture, under normal circumstances, means that it is possible to obtain double resources to promote the implementation of super charging stations. For these two German giants who urgently need to stabilize their position in China's new energy market, it is a great opportunity Win-win.

On the other hand, considering that this is a charging brand open to the public, it is also good for new energy car owners.

The energy-replenishing network is moving from closed to "open source"

The key word for energy replenishment networks recently is “openness”.

As mentioned in the announcement, the super charging stations of the Mercedes-Benz and BMW joint ventures are open to the public, not exclusive to "distinguished Mercedes-Benz and BMW owners", and can be used by everyone.

This is not the only one that is open.

The battery swap track that Weilai insists on has finally welcomed new players recently. Changan and Geely have successively cooperated with Weilai. Through strategic cooperation signings, these three car companies will jointly build a shared battery swap network. There will be more and more cars on the road that can swap batteries.

According to rumors, Weilai has more cooperation opportunities in the field of battery replacement, and "there are still four or five companies in talks."

It is worth mentioning that Weilai and our protagonist Mercedes-Benz are also suspected of flirting.

In contrast, the news that Tesla is further opening charging stations in China does not seem to have received much attention.

On November 28, Tesla opened more charging stations to some eligible non-Tesla models, including more than 350 super charging stations and 260 destination charging stations. Compared with the previous small effort, this time There are a lot more open super charging stations.

In fact, Tesla is promoting the opening of its own super charging stations around the world. Previously, closed charging networks were a "service" that Tesla owners around the world were proud of.

In the hometown of Tesla, the Tesla energy replenishment network and Tesla NACS standards have almost formed a unified trend in the U.S. market. Groups such as Ford, General Motors, Toyota, etc. have all accessed the agreement, and these brands in the U.S. New energy models can also use Tesla Super Charging Stations to replenish energy.

Although Audi, which has been left out in the cold today, does not have many highlights in terms of energy replenishment, the Kaimax charging station owned by its big brother Volkswagen China is already one of the third-party charging station brands with better experience. Of course, it is also open.

In the past or now, whether there is a "self-built energy replenishment network" is an important factor for many people to judge whether a brand is worth buying.

Self-construction, especially the closed exclusive recharging network, can avoid to the greatest extent the problems of poor quality of pile facilities, long queues, etc. that are a headache for charging car owners. Tesla and NIO have used this as a hidden reason in the past. Sex sells.

Shen Fei, vice president of NIO Energy, recently said: NIO and Tesla car owners are brave enough to run long distances. From the side, it also confirms the impact of a closed and powerful energy replenishment network on the confidence of car owners.

But from another perspective, each building a siege is actually a considerable waste of resources. "Each one has its own mother for charging" means that different car companies need to build duplicate buildings at the same location, not to mention the unsaturated charging station usage rate, which will bring problems to car companies. operating pressure.

The waste and pressure translate into rising costs, and it is still the car owners who ultimately foot the bill.

Previously, Weilai was frequently labeled as "the fastest this year, the latest next year (to go bankrupt)". Part of the reason is that there are few battery swapping players and it is highly closed-minded. Now that it is cooperating with other car companies, it is time to find faults. Don't come up here.

You see, it is better for the world to be open, and win-win cooperation is the main theme.

Building your own charging station is still the ticket

The predecessors planted trees and the descendants enjoyed the shade, but it does not mean that the descendants do not have to plant trees themselves. Unless future generations want to live under a tree forever, they will always face the risk of being "stuck".

I hope that all new energy car owners will have this awareness when facing brand replenishment networks:

The open energy replenishment network determines the upper limit of experience, but the self-built energy replenishment network determines the lower limit of experience .

A self-built charging network with wide coverage and high stability is the confidence of car owners to travel far away, and the confidence that "they have self-built stations to protect themselves anyway."

Of course, car companies are not stupid. Of course, they still have control over their own energy supplement networks. The super charging stations opened by Tesla in China this time are all 120kW V2 super charging piles, not the V3 super charging piles currently operating in the country with the highest power.

In addition, most of the currently open Tesla Super Charging Stations are not located in the core areas in terms of location selection. Taking Guangzhou as an example, none of the Tesla Supercharging stations in the Zhujiang New Town area are open to the public, and only destination charging stations are available.

NIO also leaves its best "collections" to car owners. Although it cooperates with other car companies to build battery swap networks, NIO car owners still enjoy their own exclusive network. Both public and private dual networks are applicable to NIO. Owner of this brand of car.

Going back to the announcement about Mercedes-Benz and BMW's cooperation in building charging stations, it also clearly states that it "provides exclusive services to Mercedes-Benz and BMW owners."

Opening up is for more efficient and economical operation, but the core purpose of building the website is still to serve car owners.

Selling a car today is much more complicated than before. In addition to making the car easy to drive when you want to drive it and driving when you don’t want to drive it, car companies also have to bet on service and long-term user experience. They will interact when they are happy and when they are angry. I will coax you sometimes…

In fashionable terms, it is to provide you with the so-called "emotional value."

If charging and replenishing energy are useless, the emotional value must be negative.

The self-built energy supplement network is the bargaining chip that car companies hold in their hands. When traveling, you cannot rely on others. It is a good thing to have someone to help you. If not, you cannot lose the chain.

Of course, to take a step back, the energy supplement network is the foundation for the growth of new energy. All car companies with some ability at the poker table are co-building it. Even Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which have long been dismissed as "no-name electric cars" on the Internet, have to do it. We have built our own charging stations. How can those car companies, all of which are prosperous and prosperous, have the honor to sit down if they don’t make any efforts?

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