Daimler AG, the world's second-largest manufacturer of luxury cars yesterday said it had formed a 50:50 research and technology joint venture with China's electric auto batteries maker BYD called ''Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd,'' to develop an electric vehicle for China.
BYD and Daimler will invest RMB 600 million ($87 million) as initial registered capital for the joint venture.
The new generation of electric vehicles developed by the joint venture will capitalise on Daimler's know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety as well as BYD's excellence in battery technology and e-drive systems.
The vehicle will be marketed under a new brand jointly created firm owned jointly by Daimler and BYD.
Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD Company Limited, said, ''Together with Daimler we are making excellent progress identifying opportunities to utilise the strengths of both companies to create a new brand of electric cars for China. This is a unique and exciting initiative and together we are pushing hard to bring this new electric vehicle to market as soon as possible.''
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler, said, ''Our new joint venture is well positioned to make the most of the vast potential of electric mobility in China. We are fortunate to have excellent joint venture partners in China and the establishment of this research and technology centre with BYD adds another dimension to our growing presence in this important market.''
Daimler is a leader in developing automotive architectures for zero-emissions driving. The company recently launched the smart fortwo electric drive and this year will introduce two Mercedes-Benz electric cars: the B-Class F-CELL with fuel cell technology as well as the battery electric A-Class E-CELL.