Around 3000 charging points, 230 operators, countless charge cards and payment systems – anyone wanting to charge their electric car while out and about has to be well prepared these days.
To help make everything more convenient in the future, Mercedes-Benz is now offering “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz”. This app allows Mercedes-Benz and smart customers to find available charging stations and manage the whole charging and payment process. Payment is made simply and transparently using PayPal. “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” does not involve any binding contracts or regular fees. The app can be downloaded free of charge for the iOS and Android operating systems from December 2014.
On 5 August 1888, when Bertha Benz ran out of fuel on her journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Willi Ockel, the pharmacist in Wiesloch, helped out with two litres of ligarine. Today, 128 years after the automobile was invented, refuelling is much easier. At least for those whose cars run on petrol or diesel. Drivers of electric cars still sometimes feel like pioneers when charging their cars out and about. Not only do they have to find an available charging station – they also have to register with the various station operators in order to be able to use any public charging station. Registration is often complicated, and the payment process is not always transparent.
But now, charging your car using the public infrastructure is set to become as easy as using a ticket dispensing machine – and what makes it even more convenient is that “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” allows you to charge your electric car or hybrid regardless of the charging station operator. The app, developed in cooperation with Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, shows the location of available charging stations in your vicinity. Before you charge your car, the app shows the price at the station in question, and customers can conveniently verify their identity using their smartphones. Every charging process is paid for automatically using PayPal. Another advantage is that using “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” allows you to be completely flexible. Instead of entering into contracts with a number of different charging station operators, often involving fixed terms and regular fees, customers using the new app benefit from the convenience of a single solution that works with all providers – one that can be used anywhere, anytime via your smartphone, with no binding contracts and no fixed costs.
The app offers access to almost the entire remote-compatible (i.e. accessible via smartphone) public charging infrastructure in Germany. Other European markets are set to be added one by one. Mercedes-Benz is also planning to make it possible to reserve charging stations as part of the next phase of development.
The service is provided for Mercedes-Benz customers by Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, and can be downloaded from December 2014 at apps.mercedes-benz.com as well as the App Store or Google Play.