German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India on Friday announced the extension of its electric vehicle charging network to the customers of other brands as it looks to accelerate the faster adoption of electric vehicles in the country.
The car maker launched the top-end EQE 500 4MATIC electric SUV at an introductory price of Rs 1.39 crore (all India ex-showroom) and a new “Customer Experience Centre” at Chakan, in Pune.
“...we will be extending this entire charging facility, not only for Mercedes customers but for all brands, luxury and mass, so that they can come in and charge their cars at a faster pace at our fast charging network,” Santosh Iyer, managing director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, said.
The company said it has the largest charging network within the luxury car space with 140 chargers at different points. Of these, 40 chargers are in the 180 kilowatts and the 60 kilowatt area, which means fast chargers, said.
Mercedes Benz India is going to launch a training programme in October for its retail personnel on handling high-voltage cars. It is also training chauffeurs on how to drive and charge electric vehicles (EV)s.
Speaking at the launch, Iyer said: “Chauffeurs play a big role when it comes to charging. They look for a charging gun even when the charge is at 60 per cent. We need to train them and others to tell them that EVs are not like mobile phones that keep losing charge even when you do not use them.
“You can park your EV for 14 days and go away and it will not lose its charge. We are also training them on how to download an app and find the nearest charging station. We are also going to start a skilling workforce module on electrification and 200 students will be trained to handle EVs every year.”
The app can be downloaded by any customer — of Mercedes or non-Mercedes — and it gives access to a fast charging network across India.