Beijing, China – Daimler AG and Chinese automaker BYD Company have created an equal-partnership joint venture, Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Company, that will develop an electric vehicle (EV) for China.
The new models will use Daimler’s expertise in electric vehicle architecture and safety, along with BYD’s excellence in battery technology and electric-drive systems. The vehicles will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.
Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD, and Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG, signed the joint venture in Beijing. It follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies on March 1. Following that signing, engineers, designers and other executives from both companies began working on the vehicle concept.
Daimler recently launched the Smart Fortwo electric drive, and this year will introduce the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell fuel cell vehicle, and the A-Class E-Cell battery-electric car. BYD has invested in advanced battery technology since 1995 and entered the automotive sector in 2003. It is currently the fastest-growing Chinese automotive manufacturer. In December 2008 it introduced the F3DM dual-mode hybrid-electric vehicle and started direct sales to individual customers in March 2010. Earlier this year it launched the e6, a pure electric vehicle that has become the first to be used in China for taxis.