The global battery production network within the Mercedes-Benz Cars production network has put the third production facility into operation: A factory for plug-in hybrid batteries has been opened in the Bangkok region in Thailand. It is being set up in partnership with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP) and Thonburi Energy Storage Systems (TESM).
Mercedes-Benz has invested a total of more than 100 million euros (Rs 791 crore) in the battery production and a plant expansion of the existing vehicle production plant. Mercedes-Benz, along with its partners, are responding to the high demand for electric mobility and, in particular, for plug-in hybrid vehicles in Thailand. They are also shifting towards sustainable mobility as well as a carbon-neutral and resource-efficient production.
The 50,000 sq.m. is located at the vehicle manufacturing plant in the Bangkok region. The automotive plant has also been expanded in the due process. From the 300 new jobs that have been created, 100 have been assigned for the battery production plant. BMW claims that since the production facilities are highly standardised and flexible they can be adapted to local market conditions in a short time.
Jorg Burzer, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz, production and supply chain management said, “We have been successfully producing Mercedes-Benz vehicles for the local market at our Thai plant for more than 40 years. With the start of production of our battery factory in Bangkok, we are taking another important step in the expansion of our global battery production network at Mercedes-Benz Cars with nine factories worldwide. The local production of batteries enables us to make the best possible use of the potential for e-mobility in Thailand. As in the case of vehicle manufacturing, we have optimized all processes in terms of efficiency, flexibility and sustainability in the battery factory. We show, how sustainable products can be produced sustainably. The plug-in hybrid models of Mercedes-Benz Sedans, especially the C- and E-Class, are in particular demand in Thailand.”
Roland Folger, president and CEO Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) said, “Our location is well prepared for the future of mobility and can react even more flexibly to developments in the Southeast Asian market. Above all this strategic course-setting was made possible by the long-standing, trusting cooperation with our local partners. This has laid the foundation for further expanding our commitment and adding additional electrified vehicles to our portfolio.”
The battery systems manufactured in the new battery factory, are used among others for the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class, E-Class, S-Class as well as for the Mercedes-Benz GLC and GLC Coupe. BMW claims that the central assembly stations were set up in the same way as in the battery factory in Kamenz and were further developed for site-specific requirements. In this way, all battery types can be manufactured in the new line for all current and future plug-in hybrids.
Andreas Lettner, chief executive officer and head of operations Mercedes-Benz manufacturing Thailand said, “The expertise in our global network is an advantage that we can use here in Thailand. We are dealing with highly complex future-oriented technologies in battery production. It makes me very proud to see the enthusiasm and dedication with which our employees approach their new tasks. Without this strong team, the project would not have been feasible in this short time and according to the high Mercedes-Benz standards.”
BMW has further confirmed that the decision for local battery production in Thailand supports Mercedes-Benz’s overall sustainability goals under the heading ‘Ambition2039’ as well. The aim is a carbon-neutral new car fleet until 2039. By 2030, at least every second vehicle sold should have an electric drive – this includes full-electric vehicles and Plug-In hybrids. All European Mercedes-Benz plants are to produce completely carbon neutral from 2022. The battery factory in Bangkok will meet this requirement by using large solar systems on the roofs of the production buildings. Excess solar power, for example, is temporarily stored in so-called 2nd-life battery storage systems from recycled electric vehicle batteries. The plant works closely with the Mercedes-Benz Energy. The stationary storage systems, which can compensate for local energy fluctuations and contribute significantly to grid stabilization, enable economical and resource-saving reuse for disused batteries of electric and hybrid vehicles. This is an important contribution to the economic efficiency and environmental balance of electric vehicles.
Daimler is investing more than one billion euros (Rs 7,922 crore) in a global battery production network within the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. In total, the battery production network consists of nine factories at seven locations on three continents. The first factory in Kamenz is in series operation. The second factory in Kamenz (Germany), the battery factory at the Beijing site (China) and in Bangkok (Thailand) started series production in 2019. The battery factories in Stuttgart-Unterturkheim (Germany), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Jawor (Poland) will start at the beginning of the next decade.
The local production of batteries is an important success factor in Mercedes-Benz Cars electric offensive and the crucial building block for handling the global demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently. The battery is the heart of all electrified drives. The complex battery systems from Mercedes-Benz are assembled and tested in the international battery factories. Mercedes-Benz buys the battery cells flexibly on the world market and secures access to the latest technologies on the market.