Mercedes B-class may be allowed to use superchargers

Mercedes B-class may be allowed to use superchargers

"While unconfirmed, the B-Class Electric Drive might be the first non-Tesla that is both compatible with, and allowed to charge at, the company’s so-called “Supercharger” stations that dot the California coast and are planned to expand across the country."

I don't know how I feel about this. Obviously having more cars that use superchargers will encourage a faster spread of the supercharger network, but supercharger stations are already filling up in California. I would hate to wait in line behind one of these little econoboxes.

MB3 | 10 May, 2013

Good news is that you wouldn't have to wait long for the little battery to charge.

Andre-nl | 10 May, 2013

Is it hard to wait in line behind someone who is less rich?

ChristianG | 10 May, 2013

Well if Tesla is true to it's word and wants to make the world drive elctric, opening up their charging stations for other EVs is only logical.

Long cords and the possibility to unplug the front vehicle when its full,or reaches the decired capacity, would be a big + thou. having to wait 2 houres for someone to come back even thou the front car was full an houre sucks ^^

BYT | 10 May, 2013

But why would Tesla offer access to their free Tesla Branded Superchargers to a none (although it has the Tesla Power-train) Tesla Manufactured Vehicle? I have a feeling this is wishful thinking by the TopSpeed author. And for the record, that car is UGLY! When do they EV car manufacturers going to start making EV's people will want to drive and be seen in?

ghillair | 10 May, 2013

With a rated range of 115 miles, real world highway is probably < 100. With the super chargers space close to 150 miles a part and between major cities I wouldn't think there would be many trying to do long distances.

jbunn | 10 May, 2013


Don't know if your question is rhetorical or not, but I'd guess there is some corporate deals being cut. Merc to sign agreement to purchase more parts, longer term agreement, stock trades, or Merc to invest in Solar City. Something like that.

I think Elon is trying to change the gasoline transportation network to electric world wide. I don't think he's interested in making cars, per se. The car was just the means to make that happen.

What I'm hoping is that this helps us get more superchargers and wider distribution if Merc buys in. In the town I used to live, on one street we had four gas stations. One on each corner. I'll be happy if during my lifetime one or perhaps two are turned into EV chargers.

dirk.saenen | 10 May, 2013

I welcome the B-class-EV.
Makes Tesla stronger !

Rumbles | 10 May, 2013

Imagine if every Mercedes dealer in the country installed a few Superchargers...

riceuguy | 10 May, 2013

This makes me think that Rumbles is not crazy:

"Mercedes-Benz and Smart are preparing for the widespread uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK by beginning the installation of recharging points across their dealer networks. So far 20 Elektrobay recharging units, produced in the UK by Brighton-based Elektromotive, have been installed at seven locations as part of a pilot project, and further expansion of the initiative is planned later in 2010."

Sure, this is old news, but it does indicate they've given the concept some thought.

Vawlkus | 10 May, 2013

I'm not in favor of this. To my knowledge, the current MB cars and ideas don't have the range to make SCs practical for those kind of cars/ideas.

riceuguy | 10 May, 2013

@Vawlkus, remember that there has been talk lately of placing the superchargers just 100 miles apart, which would potentially make them interesting for Mercedes EVs. If Tesla provided the charging between cities, and Mercedes offered it at dealerships in cities and owners of either cars could use either sets of locations...well, I would be interested in that! Although I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen, but if it did, that'd be great. :-)

Joel N. Weber II | 10 May, 2013

Isn't the Mercedes expected to have even less range than the orignal plan for the 40 kwh Model S did, and wasn't Tesla claiming that making the 40 kwh Model S Supercharger compatible wouldn't be practical? I will be rather surprised if the Superchargers are ever allowed to charge something smaller than a 60 kwh pack.

Nantang | 10 May, 2013

Maybe the non-Tesla-branded vehicles' owners would have to pay for the service, either via subscription or fee-per-use.

In the long run, this would definitely rake in more money for Tesla the company, since EVs are the future, and it's looking like Tesla is so far ahead of everyone else that all the others will continue using Tesla's batteries, the way so many gas/electric hybrids today are based on Toyota's Synergy platform.

Brian H | 10 May, 2013

Actually, not. The charge is a % of capacity, so a low capacity battery takes as long as a high cap, up to the limits of the charger.

The MB cars, as pointed out, haven't the range to make it between Superchargers anyway, so I think the policy would mostly be symbolic.

gjunky | 10 May, 2013

I doubt this will be true as not even Tesla's own 40KwH battery was going to allow supercharging.

trydesky | 10 May, 2013

+1 Brian

This could very well be symbolic, making it a no brainer for TM. If MB will chip in, but never use them, who would have a problem with that?

Jewsh | 10 May, 2013

Merc may be helping Tesla fund the SC rollout. That would benefit everyone. ;-)

holidayday | 10 May, 2013

I say go for it. Tesla branded superchargers will have a more stable long-term lifetime if the technology is used by other car-makers.

See: 10 years from now, GM, Ford, Chrysler cars using the same Tesla SuperCharger network, and helping it expand more fully into local highways, and not just large interstate highways.

Supercharger network can supplement / replace all those old fashioned gasoline stations.

Whity Whiteman | 10 May, 2013

Elon is smart - probably he is the only smart guy who can in-whisper and influence a company like merxedes.
Tesla and mercedes is THE perfect partnership-lovestory. They both built a first of it's kind.. they both play in the luxury segment. The B-Class is teslas bluestar!
Mercedes will bring this car into carsharing in the big way, and tesla will be on board! But how fast will that happen?

Whity Whiteman | 10 May, 2013

btw: in the next generation of Lithium accupacks we'll see an increase of appr. 50-60%..mounted in the same amount of space. This could bring the b-class the needed range from SC to SC.

Wishfull thinking?

Sudre_ | 10 May, 2013

I am with Rumbles. Superchargers at every Merc dealer would be a huge plus. I've been waiting for Tesla to make an announcement where Merc dealers get to sell Tesla's (in spirit only) to get the dealership crap out of the way.

If the Merc cars take off they would also benefit from installing their own Tesla Superchargers in key location around the country. If SolarCity puts solar panels on all the Merc dealers then that would give them enough juice to fund the power used.

Tesluthian | 10 May, 2013


Tâm | 10 May, 2013

I welcome the news. It's about time that another company adopts Tesla Supercharge standard.

Brian H | 10 May, 2013

Free to all makers' cars?

Tâm | 10 May, 2013

@Brian H:
Now we own a Tesla, so we'd better get used to with the thinking of marketing department :)

From 300 mile range to a couple hundred dollars for monthly loan payment.

Thus, I wouldn't call Tesla Supercharger standard is free. We, Model S owners, have to pay either top dollars first or an additional $2,000 to get it for free :)

Other companies are all welcome to adopt Tesla Supercharger standard which means they have to pay Tesla something like a small fee for the technology first, and then, of course, it's "free" :)

The question is how can the rest of the herd to abandon their traditional own standards for a small company Tesla's standard?

That's good news that so far, one company, Mercedes, has the courage to break the rank and join Tesla Supercharger standard.

It's a good start, which company will be the second one? We need more!!!!

stimeygee | 10 May, 2013

More than anything, we want more super charger locations, and more, and more, and more. We also want one standard that everyone can use, like with a regular gas station. So, the more the merrier. Increased demand means increased charging locations, means more EVs sold, means more locations, means more EVs sold, more locations, until everyone's driving electric cause it doesn't make sense to do otherwise.

Nice, right?

Mark K | 10 May, 2013

Smart competitors move fast to increase their gravity when there are few challengers.

If MB and then Toyota adopt TM's superior spec, a standard can emerge.

Standards drive the rate of charge network buildout.

Network drives EV adoption.

Don't worry about queues from other users. Charge time will be similar to
gas soon. Then waits fade into history.

The MB deal is a net win.

MB rescued TM, and Elon's not an ungrateful sort. MB needs him now, and he is forthcoming. It will be good for MB, good for TM, and good for adoption.

MB has already made almost 10X on their investment.

djy | 11 May, 2013

I didn't think this would happen either until I read this article, and now I think it makes a lot of sense. (We've all heard the Elon to Jobs analogy, but this is the first I've heard him compared to Google):

djm12 | 11 May, 2013

The article really got the details on the BMWi3 wrong. How can I trust the rest of it?

Regardless, it would be very good for Tesla owners to have MB and Tesla partner on Supercharging. Undoubtably, MB would need to make an investment in the infrastructure equivalent to their usage - the creates a stronger, more robust network for both MB and Tesla owners.

DouglasR | 11 May, 2013

A while back a stock analyst argued that the superchargers are the real way TM will make money: charge other makers $2,000 per car to use the system. I didn't believe it at the time, but the article did have a lot of detail and analysis. I'll see if I can find it.

rodneynelson | 11 May, 2013

Welcome M.B. Get out of my Tesla Super-charger unless you are putting super-chargers in every M.B. dealership for us.

rdalcanto | 11 May, 2013

Looks like the MB B class has similar performance to a Leaf (crappy acceleration and mediocre range) and is only slightly more attractive. Doubt they will sell very many.... Maybe someday someone besides Tesla will figure out that to sell a lot of EVs, you have to make them as desirable as an ICE.

Brian H | 11 May, 2013

You misunderstand the SC system, like many. The power is supplied, at a net network profit, by Solar City. They install enough arrays to more than make up the grid cost by selling power to the utilities. Tesla does not collect or contribute to the electricity costs and charges. They just erect the Superchargers, which costs (comparative) peanuts.

So letting other makers cars use them would mean more stations, and more arrays built and operated by Solar City.

rdalcanto | 12 May, 2013

Having watched the documentary on Elon, and seeing how Tesla would have failed without tens of millions from MB, I think they can use our superchargers.... Plus I do think they will help build more and add to the network.