By on April 22, 2014

DENZA_at_Auto_China_2012_11 (1)

The first fruits of Daimler and BYD’s Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. joint venture is on display at the Beijing auto show this week. The partnership intends to blend BYD’s latest battery technology with more than a century of manufacturing experience at the maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. Schedule to launch on the Chinese market in September of this year, the Denza is a five passenger car with a 115 hp (86 kW) electric motor that has a top speed of 93 mph and a range of up to 186 miles (300 km). Produced at a factory in Shenzhen, the Denza was jointly designed in China, reflecting the Chinese government’s policy requiring foreign automakers to establish joint technical centers in China and to share technology with their Chinese partners.


Recharging times are stated as 7 hours with conventional mains voltage and less than an hour with high speed chargers. The lithium ion phosphate battery pack is rated at 47.5 kWh and apparently in response to some Teslas catching fire, Denza publicity stresses how the battery pack is located underneath the body for safety and that it will automatically disconnect and quickly discharge safely in the event of an accident. Since the average driver in China travels 50 to 80 kilometers a day, with a 300 km range, most customers will only have to recharge a couple of times a week.

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One feature that I look forward to see if it makes it to production is the fact that the show car has suicide doors in the back and no B-pillar.

The Denza will have a starting price of RMB 369,000, about $60K at current rates, though there are subsidies from the Chinese national and local governments that reduce that price by about 1/3. In addition to those subsidies, the Denza will benefit by being exempted from many of the policies that Chinese cities have implemented to reduce congestion and pollution. Owners will be able to get a license plate in Beijing without participating in the mandatory lottery, and Shanghai and Shenzhen wave registration fees for Denza owners’ plates.

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7 Comments on “Beijing 2014: Daimler and BYD Introduce Denza EV With 300KM Range...”

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    0-60 in ~14 seconds? That’s comically poor.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Its specs are a lot like the mythical 48 kWh Leaf (double today’s capacity), and similar to the mythical-and-pending Tesla Model E.

    However, I can’t think of a way to safely discharge 48 kWh of energy after a crash. I think they’re lying on that point.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe they meant “de-energize”?

      I can see how discharge and de-energize might be similar enough to be confused in translation from Chinese and German….

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I thought that, too, except the story made the distinction: “…automatically disconnect and quickly discharge safely….”

        In any case, this concept is appealing if it can perform.

    • 0 avatar

      Once upon a time I worked in mid-market television. One of the things I loved to do when I was between tasks was to hang out with the engineers and soak up as much knowledge as I could. Well, one day they were going to do some work on one of the transmitters so I wandered back to get a look “under the hood” as it were.

      So the chief engineer invites me over to the back of the transmitter housing where he’s just powered the thing down and opened the access panels. He then takes a moment to identify the major parts and circuits, including the very large capacitors. He finishes his “tour” by pointing at a wooden pole with a foot long piece of copper attached to one end, which he identifies as the “Jesus stick”.

      “Wanna know why it’s called that?” he asks. Naturally, I nod.

      Quick as lightning, he grabs the stick and sticks it into the cabinet, using the copper to bridge between the metal chassis and one of the capacitors, causing a flash and a crackle.

      “Jesus!” I shouted as I jumped back.

      The chief turned to me and grinned. “You figured it out, I see.”

  • avatar

    Maybe they meant “de-energize”?

    I can see how discharge and de-energize might be similar enough to be confused in translation from Chinese and German….

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