Mercedes-Benz has begun local production of plug-in hybrid-batteries in Thailand with the opening of its new battery plant, which is located at the company’s vehicle manufacturing plant in Samut Prakan.

The new facility, which sits on a 50,000 square metre site and has a 100-strong workforce, was announced last year when the automaker – together with local partners Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP) and Thonburi Energy Storage Systems (TESM) – said it was investing over 100 million euros (RM483 million) in expanding production operations in the country.

Output will serve localised needs in the production of the automaker’s plug-in hybrids, of which the C- and E-Class versions are in particular demand, but the plant will be able to make batteries for full electric vehicles in the future, according to a previous report. While no mention of production capacity was made, a figure of 5,000 units was indicated previously, and this can easily be doubled according to demand.

The new facility is the latest addition to the company’s global battery production network, which already has plants running in Kamenz, Germany, with Beijing also going online this year. With new plants in the United States, Poland and Germany set to begin operations at the beginning of the next decade, the network will eventually consist of nine factories at seven locations on three continents.