Denza is the name of the new joint venture brand entered by Daimler and Chinese car maker BYD Auto, according to sources from Mercedes-Benz. Denza is formed as a brand that only caters to the Chinese market. Denza will serve a lineup of affordable electric powered vehicles – the first of which will be presented on April 23 at the Beijing motor show.
The first Denza model is based on the discarded underpinnings of the first-generation Mercedes-Benz B-class, a car that was initially meant to use batteries placed in its flat floor structure. This first model was developed in a joint engineering effort between Daimler and BYD, a partnership made official in 2010 by Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche and BYD president Wang Chuanfu.
Not much is known about the new zero-emission five door hatchback but according to Autocar sources, a team from Daimler has led the styling, body and chassis engineering. Meanwhile, BYD offers expertise on the electric driveline system. Before BYD became active in the automotive industry, BYD had become famous as the lithium ion battery supplier for Nokia, Motorola and other mobile phone manufacturers.
It’s believed that the new car will have some features of the BYD E6’s driveline, which is equipped with a very advanced lithium-ion phosphate battery. In addition, it has a range of up to 186 miles in calm weather conditions.
BYD has officially stated that before the first Denza model is introduced, it has built as many as 309 E6s – about 40 of which were being tested for their durability as part of a fleet operated by the Pengcheng Electric Taxi Company in the city of Shenzhen with a total of 1,864,114 miles. [source: Autocar]