Hot on the trail of electric vehicle brands like Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors is newcomer Denza, the result of a 50:50 joint venture between China’s BYD and Mercedes’ parent company Daimler. You see here the first product of their alliance – a cool blue fellow that appears to not have a name.
Underpinning it is the first-gen Mercedes B-Class platform – a flat floor platform originally designed to house batteries. Daimler take care of the styling, body and chassis while BYD focus on the electric powertrain (BYD used to supply lithium-ion batteries to mobile phone companies, and its E6 model is currently undergoing testing as taxis in Shenzhen).
The NEV’s powertrain is borrowed from the E6, which means its shares the same advanced lithium-ion phosphate battery that allows a 300 km range. Other numbers are unclear, but the E6 taxis in Shenzhen are reported to charge fully in 20 to 30 minutes without deterioration of battery health, and max out at 140 km/h.
Denza’s target market is the increasingly urban and open-minded Chinese middle-class. The company aims to be a premium brand of alternative-energy vehicles.