Mercedes-Benz Thailand (MBT) has announced that it is set to expand its electric vehicle (EV) presence in the country with the local production of EVs, the Bangkok Post reports.

The company submitted its EV incentive application with the Board of Investment (BoI) last year, ahead of the deadline on December 28. It already has BoI incentives covering plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEV) and lithium-ion batteries.

The company applied for manufacturing expansion of its plug-in hybrid EVs in early 2018, pledging to assemble 607 million baht (RM78.6 million) worth of PHEVs, while local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP) submitted an application for lithium-ion battery production to assemble 600 million baht (RM77.7 million) worth of batteries. Both projects, housed at the automaker’s facilities in Samut Prakan province, were granted BoI privileges last March.

Daimler AG localised assembly of PHEV batteries last year with an investment of 3.9 billion baht (RM504.7 million), making the company the first carmaker to produce batteries locally. The assembly plant in the Kingdom is the sixth battery plant for Daimler worldwide – it has three plants in Germany and one each in the US and China.

The EV incentive application seeks to add the full-electric element into the mix. According to MBT vice-president of sales and marketing, Frank Steinacher, the company will be introducing the EQC in Thailand later this year, and plans are being considered for the localisation of the first battery EV from the automaker’s EQ stable. “The EQC comes with the possibility of being assembled locally,” he said.

“We have begun marketing our plug-in hybrid EVs in the market and have invested further to produce lithium-ion batteries, so it would not make any sense if we did not bring our battery EV technology to the country,” Steinacher explained.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz EQC