MONTVALE, NJ - Mercedes-Benz will open a research and development center for hybrid and other alternative powertrain technology on the Redford Township campus of its sister Detroit Diesel business after township trustees approved a tax exemption, a Daimler AG spokesman said.

The exemption enables Mercedes-Benz Hybrid LLC to buy $2.3 million in equipment at the site on Outer Drive in Redford Township. Daimler AG spokesman Han Tjan declined to say how much MBH's total investment will be, according to the Free Press.

Last March, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved $7.5 million of tax incentives over 10 years for the project. The Free Press reported then that Mercedes-Benz would hire about 223 people over 10 years to staff the center. Tjan declined to confirm that number.

The German automaker plans to test conventional and alternative engines, transmissions and the electronics and software required to support them.

"We're very excited about the possibility of launching the center in southeast Michigan," said Judy Brunson, MBH operations officer.