Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler and Chinese car maker BYD Auto’s new joint venture brand will be called Denza.

Denza was created as a Chinese-market-only brand and is set to support a range of affordable electric powered vehicles, the first being unveiled at the Beijing motor show on April 23rd. The first Denza model is based on the discarded underpinnings of the first-generation Mercedes-Benz B-class, and has been developed in a joint engineering effort between Daimler and BYD. The partnership was made official by Dieter Zetsche, Daimler chairman, and BYD president Wang Chuanfu back in 2010.

The only certain thing known about the new zero-emission five door hatchback is the fact that a team from Daimler has led the styling, body and chassis engineering, with BYD providing expertise on the electric driveline system. BYD became known as a lithium ion battery supplier for Nokia, Motorola and other mobile phone manufacturers. The BYD E6’s driveline used by the new car, features a state-of-the-art lithium-ion phosphate battery capable of 186 miles in mild weather conditions.

“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,” said Daimler boss Zetsche.


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