Daimler AG signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BYD Company Limited (1211.HK) to enter into a comprehensive technology partnership for the development of electric vehicles for China.

Under the agreement, Daimler and BYD intend to develop a new electric vehicle specific to the requirements of the Chinese market. The vehicle will be marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD. In addition, a common technology center will be established in China to develop, design and test this electric vehicle.

“With this announcement, we continue to push ahead as a global leader in electric mobility. Daimler’s know-how in electric vehicle architecture and BYD’s excellence in battery technology and e-drive systems are a perfect match. Thus, we will be able to participate in the potential growth of electric mobility in China, currently the largest auto market of the world”, said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“With this technology partnership, we have created a win-win business model with complimentary competences. We are very excited about this opportunity to work together with Daimler, the inventor of the automobile”, said Mr. Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD Company Limited.

Daimler is a leader in developing automotive architectures for zero-emissions driving. The company recently launched the smart electric drive and in 2010 will introduce an all-electric version of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

“Electric vehicles are especially well-suited for urban driving. With its many metropolitan areas, China has the potential to be among the world’s largest markets for zero-emission vehicles. Daimler and BYD will accelerate the growth of electric mobility in China”, jointly stated Chairman Wang and Dr. Zetsche.
BYD is China’s leading manufacturer in developing advanced battery technology, a field it has invested in since 1995. The company has enjoyed rapid growth after entering the automotive sector in 2003. It is the fastest growing Chinese automotive manufacturer. BYD introduced its F3DM dual-mode hybrid electric vehicle to the world in December 2008. Soon, the company will officially launch the e6, a pure electric vehicle.

The companies’ understanding also includes further discussions on additional business opportunities of mutual interests.

Source: Daimler AG