The Thai government has been a strong supporter of the increased localization of automotive components. Policies are updated regularly to ensure all parties can benefit from the latest technologies.
Mercedes-Benz Thailand aims to start local manufacturing of electric vehicles (EV) after completing its application for the Board of Investment (BoI) incentives covering all related systems.
The Bangkok Post reported that Mercedes-Benz Thailand applied for a total of 607 million Thai Baht for the expansion of plug-in hybrid EV models, while local partner and assembly plant TAAP submitted an application for lithium-ion battery production worth 600 million Thai Baht.
Mercedes-Benz Thailand became the first automaker in Thailand to produce the high technology batteries locally following an investment of over 100 million Euro by parent company Daimler AG.
With the infrastructure and investments now firmly in place, Mercedes-Benz Thailand says they can introduce the all-electric EQC SUV and even locally assemble the vehicle in the future.
The lithium-ion battery pack in the Mercedes-Benz EQC is over ten times larger in capacity (80 kWh) compared to the mass market PHEV models (under 7 kWh).
In December last year, BMW Group Thailand together with systems partner Dräxlmaier Group announced that they will locally assemble lithium-ion battery packs for their line-up of plug-in hybrid models this year. BMW is only targeting to launch a full EV based on the current X3 next year.
In a separate report, it was mentioned that the BoI has time frame conditions, requiring each applicant to implement the plan within three years after being granted incentives, which means no longer than 2021.