BYD Company Limited and Daimler AG signed a contract creating a 50:50 research and technology joint venture called “Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd,” that will develop an electric vehicle for China. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 1 March.(Earlier post.)
BYD and Daimler will invest RMB 600 million (about US$88 million, €72 million) to use as registered capital for the joint venture. The new generation of electric vehicles developed by the joint venture will capitalize on Daimler’s know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety as well as BYD’s expertise in battery technology and e-drive systems. The vehicle will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.
Together with Daimler we are making excellent progress identifying opportunities to utilize 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.
—Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD Company Limited
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 center with BYD adds another dimension to our growing presence in this important market.
—Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG
Chairman Wang and Dr. Zetsche signed the joint venture contract today in Beijing. Engineers, designers and other executives from both companies established working teams after the signing of the MOU to begin working on the vehicle concept. The business license for the new joint venture is subject to relevant government approval.
Daimler 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.
BYD, in addition to being a major advanced battery manufacturer, is the fastest growing Chinese automotive manufacturer. BYD introduced its F3DM dual-mode hybrid electric vehicle to the world in December 2008 and started direct sales to individual customers in March 2010. The company recently launched the e6, a pure electric vehicle and established itself as the first manufacturer in China to commercialize taxi business with its e6. (Earlier post.)