Daimler AG and China's BYD Co. have “made good progress” on the development of an electric car and now have specifications for the model in place, according to Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche.
At a forum in Shanghai last Saturday, Zetsche revealed that the partnership will soon decide on the car’s design.
He said that the specs for this car have been defined so the companies now “know the specific details this car should fulfill.” He said that soon, they will define the shape and form of the car -- the prerequisites for starting development itself and its execution.
In an interview with Bloomberg News on Oct. 22, Zetsche said that the model will be introduced as early as 2012.
In entering electric-vehicle production in China, Daimler will be up against rivals Audi and BMW AG. Its tie-up with BYD, which was entered in May, may provide BYD with access to Daimler's technologies.
Zetsche said that BYD, which has an edge in battery technology, is “complementary and a good partner” for Daimler. Daimler and BYD are expected to invest 600 million yuan ($90 million) in the 50-50 partnership.
Zetsche predicts that in 2020, about 1% to 5% of all new-vehicle sales will be electric. [via autonews - sub. required]