Mercedes-Benz Thailand is studying the feasibility of applying for Thailand’s Board of Investments (BoI) incentive scheme for electric vehicles, having already secured incentive packages for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and lithium-ion battery projects.
Bangkok Post reports that newly appointed Mercedes-Benz Thailand President and CEO – and ex-CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia – Mr. Roland Folger confirmed that an application has not been submitted, but they are considering the BoI’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) scheme. BoI’s deadline for the BEV incentive package ends Dec 28th, 2018.
Mercedes-Benz was among the first few companies to secure incentives for plug-in hybrid vehicles, along with BMW and SAIC Motor. Most recently, Mitsubishi Motors announced that it would also be submitting proposals for three new EV projects before the Dec 28th deadline.
Folger added that while the Thai government’s incentive scheme is crucial to beef up the popularity of EV cars, the adoption of EV cars is dependent on appropriate state policies and market demand, and notes that a government scheme with an expiry date would not be a sustainable policy.
Mercedes-Benz and local assembly partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP) recently set up Thonburi Energy Storage Manufacturing Co for manufacturing of EV vehicle batteries, with operations due to start in 2019. Mercedes-Benz has secured BoI projects for PHEV production worth THB 607 million and battery production worth THB 600 million.
At present between 40 and 50 percent of Mercedes-Benz sales in Thailand are from PHEV vehicles. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its all-electric EQC which is powered by four electric motors (one at each wheel) which deliver a net output of 408 hp and can travel up to 450 km on a single charge – could this be the perfect vehicle to capitalise on Thailand’s growing EV market?