Mercedes-Benz plans to build its own worldwide electric vehicle charging network starting in North America in the hopes of competing with electric-vehicle sales leader Tesla.
The premium German automaker said at the CES electronics show Thursday that it will start its North American network this year at the cost of roughly $1 billion (€1.05 billion).
After its completion in six or seven years, the network will have 400 charging stations with a total of more than 2,500 high-power outlets, the company said.
European and Chinese markets will follow, with the completion of the full network within five years, when the company intends to sell EVs financially depending on market conditions.
Mercedes-Benz’s board of directors chairman has announced that the network will have more than 2,000 battery-powered charging stations and over 10,000 sockets globally.
The Mercedes-branded network will be open to electric car owners, but Mercedes owners will be able to reserve charging ports ahead of other vehicles.
The move will help the company compete more effectively with Tesla, which has previously announced that it has more than 40,000 charging ports worldwide.
Musk has previously stated plans to open the network to other brands. Tesla’s network is for uses by only Tesla owners.
The Tesla Alliance network is superior to other alternative networks for its competitors, as Tesla does not have to develop new stations individually.