Daimler AG and BYD are planning to put into production this year a purpose-built electric car based on its Denza-brand NEV concept for the Chinese market.
The parent company for Mercedes-Benz and its joint venture partner have already shown the NEV concept (pictured) and at this year’s Beijing auto show in April they will show the closer to ready version.
Denza’s front-wheel-drive hatchback features a battery under the floor such as a Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S utilizes, and the drive system comes from BYD.
Daimler in turn supplied other key components including the safety system, according to a report by the Detroit Bureau.
The rear seating area of the car will be possibly the more comfortable, as the trend in China is to leave the driving to a chauffer.
“The rear seating area was designed to feel as much as possible like a lounge area,” said Denza CEO Lian Yubo. “The lounge character really comes out through the reclining rear seats integrated into the design.”
The first Denza NEVs are expected to be sold later in 2014 through a dealership in Beijing, with more dealerships opening later in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
China is pushing hard for EVs and this vehicle fits the description of a car for a new hoped-for era as the country attempts to solve terrible air quality in its largest cities.
The Denza brand is the property of Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd., or BDNT, formed in February 2011, and was China’s first dedicated EV-focused joint venture.
It now has 250 highly qualified engineers and electrification specialists working on more EVs for the company, and China’s ever-present needs.