Daimler and its Chinese partner BYD Auto have launched a new "Denza 500" battery electric vehicle, the German luxury car maker told press on Monday.
Engineered and produced in and for China, the Denza 500 is described as offering Chinese customers a comprehensive upgrade through a refreshed exterior design and extended electric range.
The Denza model combines Daimler's vehicle architecture expertise and advanced safety engineering with BYD's leading skills in battery technology. Through continuous investment in Denza product development, Daimler is dedicated to contributing to the further development of electric mobility in China.
Upgraded connectivity services in the new vehicle include charging solutions and the Denza smartphone application. Via the Denza application, WeChat account, or car navigation system, Denza owners can locate over 112,000 charging stations across the country.
Further, a new battery and additional weight reductions allow increased energy efficiency, providing an extended range of around 500 km. The new Denza 500 was tested in a wide range of harsh conditions, including severe winter testing at temperatures of as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius.
In 2017, Denza achieved its best sales performance to date, with retail sales volume increasing by 85 percent year-on-year, outpacing the industry average, largely due to the strong customer reception of the Denza 400 model. The brand also expanded its reach through selected Mercedes-Benz dealer partners, which now offer sales and after-sales service for Denza vehicles.
Established in 2011, Denza Auto was the first Sino-German joint venture dedicated to battery electric vehicles.
Denza is one of the key pillars of Daimler's corporate strategy in China, contributing to its New Energy Vehicle (NEV) offensive as a home-grown brand. According to a recent McKinsey study, China is already the world's largest market for NEVs and recorded more than 600,000 newly-registered electric cars in 2017 alone (up 72 percent compared to 2016).
Speaking to Xinhua on Monday, a spokesperson for Daimler reaffirmed the growing significance of the Chinese e-mobility market in the company's global strategy. "The Chinese market is the biggest market for cars in the world and still growing. So we need our capacities in China to deliver our products to Chinese costumers."