Mercedes mulls PHEV battery plant in Thailand

By Staff reporter | 28 September 2016

Mercedes-Benz is considering investing in a battery plant in Thailand to meet growing demand for plug-in- hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the country.

Michael Grewe, president of Mercedes-Benz Thailand, told local reporters his company currently imports high-voltage batteries from Germany for the PHEVs it assembles at its Samut Prakan plant just outside Bangkok.

He did not confirm when the plant would be built but said a local source for these batteries is needed. In July, BMW also announced it is considering investing in a plant for such batteries for its locally-made plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Demand for hybrid vehicles in Thailand has grown strongly, driven by tax incentives for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz confirmed that it has sold 1,500 PHEVs in Thailand so far this year and 500 units in August alone – close to 60% of the brand's total sales.

While Mercedes-Benz only began local PHEV assembly this year, non-plug-in hybrid vehicle began in 2013 but has since ceased. It has sold a total of 4,000 of these vehicles locally so far.