DENZA, the “made in China, for China” EV from Daimler’s joint venture with Chinese automaker BYD, has started rolling off the production line in Shenzhen. The joint-venture company, BYD Daimler New Technology (BDNT), was established in 2010 with a 600-million-yuan ($98 million) initial investment.
The DENZA is a four-door, five-passenger sedan with an 86 kW (peak) / 69 kW (rated) motor and a 47.5 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack. Range is 157 miles, according to Daimler. Like the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3, the DENZA’s battery is located at the bottom of the car’s body.
The DENZA is scheduled to hit the market at the end of September, starting at RMB 369,000 ($60,100). Federal and local subsidies can add up to nearly RMB 120,000 ($19,500), in addition to a 10% purchase tax exemption. Free license plates are available in cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen.
“DENZA is the first car that Daimler has engineered from the bottom up outside of Germany, and it clearly lives up to its promise to be the safest, most reliable and convenient electric vehicle from and for China,” said Daimler Board Member Hubertus Troska. “Our joint investment of more than 300 million Euros proves that DENZA is both by far the most serious local electric vehicle effort in China, unmatched by any other European competitor, and a key pillar of our electric vehicle strategy in the country.”
“It is certainly the right time and place for our DENZA as China undoubtedly has the potential to become the most important electric vehicle market in the future,” notes Arno Roehringer, COO of BDNT. “We have invested in a state-of-the-art production line and base our production mainly on renowned Daimler processes. Throughout the entire production process we focus on quality to assure that our customers are getting the best Chinese electric vehicle.”