NSTDA and Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing (Thailand) Limited officiated the collaboration on research, development and technology transfer in support of electric vehicle (EV) and EV battery industry on 2 August 2019 at Thailand Science Park. Electrical and Electronic Products Testing Center or PTEC, a unit of NSTDA, is appointed to serve as the EV battery testing laboratory for Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing (Thailand), and to further develop the national quality infrastructure for the future of transport which includes testing facilities for batteries and autonomous vehicles, for instance. 

Presently, a lithium-ion battery, or Li-ion battery, is commonly used for EVs due to its rechargeablity, efficiency in storing energy and light weight. However, as the Li-ion battery contains flammable substance, its manufacturing process, usage, and maintenance are rigorously regulated to ensure product’s safety for the protection of drivers and passengers. Li-ion battery certification encompasses product testing in a laboratory, a manufacturing plant inspection and random product testing for quality assurance. Due to these exhaustive processes, Li-ion certification can be costly for local manufacturers to use the service of overseas testing laboratories. “For this reason, PTEC-NSTDA has invested in the establishment of facility, the first in Thailand, for performing an array of testing services for safety and efficiency of Li-ion battery cells and modules in accordance with international standards,” said Dr. Narong Sirilertworakul, NSTDA President. “In addition to EV industry, this facility will support the entire energy storage industry whether it is for home use, or for factories and power plants. In-country testing will enable local enterprises to save the cost of testing and certification, expedite product design and development process and overcome issues related to international laws and regulations.”

According to Mr. Andreas Lettner, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing (Thailand) Limited, Mercedes-Benz started the production of its EQ Power plug-in EVs in Thailand in 2015. Last year, the company formed a partnership with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant to build its sixth global battery production base in Thailand to support the growing demand, in Thailand and this region, for plug-in EVs and the incoming battery EV (BEV). “PTEC will perform testing for batteries manufactured from Mercedez-Benz’s Thai production plant. The testing will start with batteries for plug-in hybrid EVs this year, and later will expand the coverage to batteries for BEV,” Mr. Lettner concluded.