Bangkok, Thailand — Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Ltd (MBT) is setting up a total of 63 charging stations for plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) at leading hotels across the country in its effort expand charging opportunities for customers.
The stations are currently being built at hotels belonging to Marriott International, Minor Hotels and Hilton chains, with more to come, according to a statement from MBT.
MBT president and CEO Michael Grewe said by 2020 the company will be electrifying its entire product portfolio, and there will be at least one electric alternative in every model series, totaling 50 overall.
He added that the Thai market for electric vehicles is on an upward trend.
“Three major factors that contribute to robust growth of the market are supportive policies from the Thai government, including excise tax privileges and investment incentives offered to carmakers; product offerings that agree with Thailand’s market conditions and lifestyles of the people; strong supply chain of the Thai automotive industry; and most importantly, the expanding network of charging stations, which assures prospective users of electric vehicles that access to the infrastructure is conveniently available through their journeys,” Grewe said.
“Mercedes-Benz Thailand has received great support from the Thai government all along, and vice versa, the company actively supports Thailand’s automotive industry development towards the next generation automobile, including its supporting industries,” he added.
According to Grewe, the German auto maker has invested in local production of plug-in hybrid alternatives in every model series its markets, established a battery production base in Thailand, transferred the expertise of its parent company through our local human resource development program, and built a growing, nationwide network of charging stations.
Mercedes-Benz currently offers eight plug-in hybrid models in Thailand — C 350 e Avantgarde, C 350 e Exclusive, C 350 e AMG Dynamic, E 350 e Avantgarde, E 350 e Exclusive, E 350 e AMG Dynamic, GLE 500 e 4MATIC Exclusive, and GLE 500 e 4MATIC AMG Dynamic.
Frank Steinacher, vice president of sales and marketing, said 40 per cent of Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold here are PHEVs.
“One of our strategic priorities for electric vehicle business is to serve with the growing popularity of our EQ vehicles. By building an extensive network of charging stations, we can meet the demands of customers based on their lifestyle and behavior changes towards electric driving. The customers will, for instance, expect a greater variety of convenient charging points in addition to charging in their home garage, at Mercedes-Benz authorized dealers, or shopping centers,” he said.
Steinacher said the expansion will result in the provision of around 200 electric vehicle charging stations from Mercedes-Benz, including at 32 authorized dealers nationwide and leading hotels and shopping centers, such as Siam Centre, Central World, and Paradise Park, with more to follow in the future.