Drivers of the Mercedes EQC electric SUV, available in Australian showrooms from early December, will be able to charge up at electric vehicle charging stations for free in the first five years of ownership, thanks to a new deal cut between the German automaker and Melbourne-based Chargefox.
The $137,900 EQC has an 80kWh battery and 430km driving range, and drivers will be able to plug in at no-cost to the network of ultra-rapid charging stations being rolled out by Chargefox across Australia’s eastern seaboard, Tasmania and Perth surrounds.
Each site contains a minimum two 350kW chargers either made by Brisbane-based Tritium or Swiss automation and electrification company ABB, as well as a 50kW connection.
Not all vehicles are yet able to charge using the maximum 350kW rate, which adds around 400km driving range in 15 minutes (that claim currently goes to the Porsche Taycan alone), but the network will future-proof Australia’s road networks for the transition to electric vehicles.
Chargefox are rolling out 22 stations to connect Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, with five locations already open and another 6 currently under construction.
“In partnering with Chargefox, Mercedes-Benz is making a contribution to the growth of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Australia,” Mercedes-Benz APAC CEO and managing director Horst von Sanden said in a statement.
CEO and co-founder of Chargefox Marty Andrews says that the network of ultra-rapid fast chargers will help drive the transition to electric vehicle adoption.
“We need a combination of cutting-edge technology and infrastructure, as well as leading car manufacturers bringing fantastic models to the Australian market,” Andrews said in a statement.
Pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz EQC was announced on Friday, starting at $137,900 before on road costs, and the use of Chargefox-managed sites other than the ultra-rapid charging network are not included in the five years’ rapid charging deal.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.