Daimler, BYD in green car deal

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Shanghai Daily, May 28, 2010
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China's BYD Automobile Co yesterday signed an agreement with Daimler AG to form a 600 million yuan (US$88 million) joint venture to develop electric vehicles in China.

The research and technology center - Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co - will roll out its first electric vehicles in 2013, which will incorporate BYD's experiences in battery technology and e-drive systems as well as Daimler's know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety.

Following a memorandum of understanding in March, the vehicles will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler's chairman, said the establishment of the center boosts its presence in an important market. "Our new joint venture is well positioned to make the most of the vast potential of electric mobility in China," he said.

As new energy vehicles such as electric cars are becoming the global trend, international car makers are developing green vehicles in the hope of leading the field, especially in China, the world's largest auto market.

Shenzhen-based BYD, backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, is one of the pioneers in developing electric vehicles in China. Last year, Volkswagen signed a cooperation deal with BYD to research electric batteries.

BYD introduced its F3DM dual-mode hybrid electric vehicle in December 2008, and it went on sale in March this year.

Another electric vehicle is being marketed in the taxi sector.

The company recently set up its United States headquarters in Los Angeles and plans to begin selling electric cars in the US at the end of this year.

China wants to have 500,000 fuel efficient and eco-friendly new energy vehicles on the streets by 2012.

It is expected to introduce subsidies to encourage the purchase of green cars.

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