The auto market in China looks set to continue expanding dramatically and this hasn't failed to catch the eyes of the big players in the car industry. At Auto China 2014 in Beijing, Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd presented the world premiere of the production model of its Denza; the first all-electric vehicle for the Chinese market produced by the first Sino-German electric car joint venture.
According to the partners, the Denza, which was unveiled in prototype form two years ago, is the result of four years research and development between Daimler and BYD to create an electric urban vehicle concept. Sporting clean, though uninspired lines that go well with the efficient interior with its neatly laid out cockpit, the five-passenger Denza has a “luxury” wheelbase and comes in two style packages: the “Lifestyle,” marked by light alloy wheels, a leather interior and 8-inch touchscreen, and the “Executive,” with its Harman-Kardon sound system, sat nav, and adaptive lighting.
The Denza has already undergone 18 months of safety testing that involved 1.2 million km (745,000 mi) of road testing and the crashing of 20 cars. Daimler says that the Denza is the first electric vehicle to be tested under the (China New Car Assessment Program) C-NCAP consumer ratings, earning a 5-star rating.
Inside, there’s an 86 kW (115 bhp), 290 Nm (213 ft lb) torque electric motor powered by a 47.5 kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery giving a driving range of 300 km (186 mi) and a leisurely top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). Daimler says that the battery is designed to be charged from domestic outlets, public charge points, and dedicated charging boxes provided by the manufacturer, with charging speeds ranging from less than an hour up to seven hours. Charging can be monitored via a smartphone app that also provides the vehicle’s location.
There’s also a Power Flow Management System to keep an eye on the electrics and automatically disconnect the battery and discharges it in the event of an accident to avoid it becoming a hazard to rescue crews. In addition, the battery is installed underneath the body for safety using a lightweight aluminum case with extrusion profiles to keep it away from the passenger cabin.
The Denza goes on sale in September in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, before expanding to Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Tianjin. The starting price is RMB 369,000 (US$60,000).