Mercedes-Benz, NSTDA team up for EVs, batteries

Mercedes-Benz, NSTDA team up for EVs, batteries

Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Thailand, a local production unit of the German luxury car maker, and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) are teaming up for technology transfer on electric vehicles (EVs) and lithium battery testing.

Both parties appointed PTEC (Electrical and Electronic Products Testing Center) as the battery-testing laboratory for plug-in hybrid EVs, with an aim to start enhanced product validation testing for Mercedes-Benz this year.

Narong Sirilertworakul, president of the NSTDA, said the facility is the first EV battery testing lab in Thailand. Its mission is to establish the country’s infrastructure to support the future automotive industry.

These activities include creating a battery-testing lab and an autonomous vehicle testing lab.

“Both parties aim to develop knowledge and sharpen the skills of testing professionals in the country, in line with the government’s policy,” Mr Narong said. “We hope to develop a production base for batteries in Thailand to align with international quality standards.”

Andreas Lettner, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Thailand, said the local assembly plant started production of plug-in hybrid EVs in 2015.

“Six plug-in hybrid EV models for Mercedes-Benz are made at the plant in Samut Prakan,” he said. The operation is in partnership with the Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant.

The company is building its sixth global battery production base in Thailand, in part because of government EV incentives.

“Demand for EVs in Thailand is increasing,” Mr Lettner said. “Mercedes-Benz is committed to its local manufacturing operations to be ready for electric mobility, especially via battery EVs.”

He said the NSTDA is the company’s first partner in Southeast Asia to work together in the transfer of EV and lithium-ion battery technologies.

PTEC will be commissioned as the battery-testing lab for EV batteries from Mercedes-Benz’s Thai production. The testing will start with batteries of plug-in hybrid EVs that will begin production in 2019 at the Samut Prakan plant.

“Lab facilities will also be set up for battery testing for 100% EVs to support future demand in Thailand,” Mr Lettner said.

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