In its efforts to provide better support and services to owners of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV’s), Mercedes-Benz in Thailand is adding 200 charging stations all over the country by the end of the month.
Which cars are supported?
The charging stations support eight Mercedes-Benz PHEV’s that are locally made, including GLE500 e, C350, E350 e. They are all under the technology brand Electric Intelligence (EQ).
Where are these charging stations located?
The charging stations are located in authorized dealers and some select hotel near Central World, Paradise Park, and Siam Centre. Some of the hotel near Central World and other malls installed with these charging stations include hotels under Hilton, Marriott International, and Minor Hotels. They say that they have already achieved 80% of their goal so far.
According to the vice president for sales and marketing Frank Steinacher, the company itself invested in the construction of these charging stations, while the dealers, shopping centres and hotels were generous enough to offer wall space for the charging box. He says that the joint project will offer PHEV owners the opportunity to recharge their vehicles for free throughout the city— a major plus for those switching from gasoline-powered cars.
The company is building a network of strategically located charging stations for the growing industry in the country. They have reported a 9% increase in sales for the period, amounting to 8,600 cars in the country alone.
According to president and chief executive Michael Grewe, the company plans to offer electric alternatives to all of their models by 2022. He adds that these electric alternatives will be offered from small-branded vehicles to SUV’s— a total of 50 model variants for their portfolio.
With the growing concern for the environment and more people looking for greener alternatives even in transportation, Mercedes-Benz is currently looking for more partners for these charging outlets, from fitness centres, to golf courses, and even more hotels.
Grewe adds that the Thai market for electric vehicles is continuously showing an increasing trend, with people getting more and more educated with the advantages of electric alternatives. He explains that the country offers a lot of support in this change, from strong automotive supply chains, agreeable product offerings that consider the lifestyle and market conditions of the locals, investment incentives for carmakers, excise tax privileges, to policies from the national government.