Mike Stevens | Nov 22, 2011

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler has partnered with China's BYD in a new joint venture called Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology (BDNT). Next year, the duo will unveil a new electric concept at the Auto China motor show.

Announcing the plan this week, Daimler said that the nameless concept will preview an upcoming electric vehicle that will make its Chinese-market debut in 2013.

Technical details for the new EV won't be revealed until its April unveiling, although Daimler has confirmed that the concept will also preview the joint venture's branding and market goals.

The two companies say the concept will focus on showcasing Daimler's electric-vehicle knowledge (think Smart Fortwo ED and SLS AMG E-Cell), along with BYD's experience in battery technology and e-drive systems.

BYD made news in 2008 when US entrepreneur Warren Buffett bought a 10 percent share in the company for US$230 million.

For now, the Chinese brand is best known for its e6 electric vehicle, revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in 2009. BYD says the e6 offers a driving range of around 240 to 300km, and a 0-100km/h time under eight seconds.

Reports early last year suggested that BYD had been working towards an Australian debut, although there has been no new information on that front for some time.

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