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New Denza EV brand to be launched by Daimler-BYD joint venture

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Mercedes-Benz sources have confirmed that Daimler and BYD Auto's Chinese joint venture is set to launch Denza, a new zero-emissions brand.

The first Denza will be unveiled at next month's Beijing motor show and is based on the underpinnings of the first-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class W245.

The car's design is believed to have been undertaken by Daimler's Advanced Design Center in Beijing, led by Olivier Boulay.

Daimler has also been responsible for body and chassis engineering, while BYD has provided expertise on the electric driveline system.

It's likely that the new Denza model will contain elements of the BYD E6 driveline, which uses a lithium-ion phosphate battery and a range of up to 186 miles.

Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche said: "We will be able to participate in the potential growth of electric mobility in China, the largest car market of the world. Electric vehicles are especially well suited for urban driving.

"With its many metropolitan areas, China has the potential to be among the world's largest markets for zero-emission vehicles," he added.

Prior to becoming active in the automotive field, BYD rose to prominence as the lithium ion battery supplier for Nokia, Motorola and other mobile phone manufacturers.

The Daimler-BYD partnership was made official by Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche and BYD president Wang Chuanfu back in 2010.

By Rufus Thompson