Daimler-BYD Builds The EV America Wants – For China; 190 Miles Range, $40,000 DENZA

APR 21 2014 BY JAY COLE 41

Here it is, the car that everyone in the world has been waiting for.  An affordable, near 200 mile range, 5 seat plug-in vehicle.  But you can’t have it – that is unless you live in China.

Daimler/BYD DENZA Interior

Daimler/BYD DENZA Interior

Daimler and BYD’s first China-direct EV creation, the DENZA will go on sale this September from 369,000 renminbi (before incentives) in the “Lifestyle” class – about $52,000 USD, and from 399,000 renminbi ($63,000 USD) in the “Executive” trim level – which is sure to be the most popular.  Who doesn’t want fancy 10-spoke, 18″ wheels with Nav and rear privacy glass?

After incentives the car will retail as low as 252,000 renminbi regionally, or $40,400 USD.

From Auto China (the country’s largest auto show out of Beijing), Daimler’s head of Research and Development, Thomas Weber:

“The first complete vehicle that Daimler has developed together with BYD outside of Germany and undoubtedly one key pillar of our electric vehicle strategy for China”.

Offically the Denza is made by Shenzen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd, and Daimler executives are saying it has a range of up to 300 km (186 miles) via a 47.5 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack that the group says gets 17.2 kWh/100 km on the China cycle.  (And yes, we realize that listed efficiency does not equal 300 km – don’t shoot the messenger)

Daimler/BYD DENZA - Rear

Daimler/BYD DENZA – Rear

Some features of the models:

  • Lifestyle (RMB 369,000) – amongst others with: 18” light alloy wheels, genuine leather seats, 8” multimedia touchscreen, 6 SRS, ABS, ESP.
  • Executive (RMB 399,000) – amongst others with: Harman-Kardon surround sound system, Xenon lights with AFS, Navigation and TV functionality, Privacy Glass.

Technical Specs:

Power (peak/rated)86 kW / 68kW
Torque (peak/rated)290 Nm / 177 Nm
Energy consumption @ China cycle17.2 kWh / 100 km (18.9*)
Range @ China cycle253 km (157 miles)
Battery capacity47.5 kWh


DENZA EV Charging From ABB Wall Box

DENZA EV Charging From ABB Wall Box

Charge Times:

  • Public charging (3.3kW) in about 15 hours
  • Home wall socket  (1.5 kW) in about a thousand years (or 32 hours)
  • OEM-suggested ABB home wall box (7 kW) in 7 hours – cost: 10k r ($1,600 USD)
  • OEM-suggested ABB home wall box (22 kW) in less than 3 hours – cost: 20k r ($3,200 USD)
  • Commercial charging: “ABB Super Charging” in less than an hour (50 kW) – cost: TBD
DENZA EV Rear Seating

DENZA EV Rear Seating

Daimler states the average driving distance in China is between 50 and 80 km, so the 5 -seat Denza should have more than enough range for most citizens.

As this is a locally made product, the Denza qualifies for up to 114,000 renminbi ($18,300) in the Beijing area, which brings the realized price of the EV down to about 255,000 renminbi ($40,900) and demonstrates the hurdles that automakers like Tesla will be facing by attempting to sell an imported product in the country.  The landed price of a Tesla Model S in China after transportation, taxes and tariffs in US dollars is just under $120,000.

Daimler says the car is exempt from car-limiting policies fond in many dense ares of China today, and that license plates will be made available in Beijing (as well as Shanghai and Shenzen) without having to go through the lottery process as is common for petrol cars.

DENZA EV Specs and Performance

DENZA EV Specs and Performance

DENZA EV Gallery (below):

Categories: BYD, Mercedes

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41 Comments on "Daimler-BYD Builds The EV America Wants – For China; 190 Miles Range, $40,000 DENZA"

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Somehow it came to no shock that China would come out with a 200 mile mass made EV. In that what they really did was add a big 40 kilowatt plus battery into a EV. The Nissan Leaf and other cars could be like this id they would add a 40 kilowatt battery to them instead of this 24 kilowatt battery crap.

Note that the battery is about 2x Leaf’s. So EPA rating on this would be closer to 160 than 190 miles.

Indeed. While the Daimler execs are giving the old “up to 300km/190 mile story”, the official “China cycle” is actually not that far off reality (refreshingly), and is rated at 157 miles.

imagine how far it would go if it wasn’t painted with lead paint! j/k


That swing-up charge door is nice though. It shows a little creative thinking and not a carbon copy of something else that I know of.

They state the realistic range at 157 as per the China cycle. Also note that the car does 0-60 in about 14 seconds, not sure that would cut it in the US. With the price point in the $50’s it is not quite mass market price either. They are close to getting it right, 150 mile range with a QC option is nice.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

No kidding, that performance is horrible.. Is the voltage on the pack that poor, that they can’t get a decent 100+ kW motor at full steam on it?

It’s easy to change the voltage to whatever you want. C-Rates are the issue, but even then, LiFePO4 is often capable of 10C, and at least 5C. 200kW should be a piece of cake for this battery.

There’s no technical reason for power to be so low. It’s a conscious design decision, not a limitation.

What we in the US forget is that, in other countries, a 14-second 0-62 MPH “sprint” is quite in line with other vehicles.

Since I almost exclusively drive my i-MiEV in the city, its 13-second 0-60 MPH time doesn’t feel that slow. It’s only on the freeway that I wish it had a little more power.

I’m pretty sure that low acceleration is Daimler’s decision. Don’t want to make MB cars look slow, now, do we.

Many of BYD’s other plugins are WAY faster. This cinches it for me that the big automakers are deliberately making their EVs suck.

None of byd plugin have a more than 100kw motor

The BYD Qin has two 110kW motors.

The capital probably came with other terms, such as “dometstic-only”. MB’s ED, with Tom’s story implying it will have 28(1.15)/~.9, or maybe 36kwh of total storage, also implies the car will arrive with a potential its ~8-second numbers fail to reveal.

Warren Buffet money is on BYD.

Less than 120 EPA mile

Tesla achieved 208, on 60kwh. So, I don’t think so (~164, on 47.5).

Byd had a long history to inflate number. Their e6 has a more than 70kwh battery and 75kw motor. They claimed 200 miles range at china. But EPA only get 122 mile range. This car use less battery and is more heavier than e6. So EPA range should be than 120 mile.


should be around 100 miles

Seeing the pictures and reading the reports of the pollution levels in so many of China’s major cities, I hope this and other EV’s take off and sell in huge quantities.

I know China uses a vast amount of coal in their electric generation, but they are building out renewables as fast or faster than any other nation on this planet. So, I say, “Good For Them!”

I thought *Everybody* wanted a 200 mile range EV? I’ve never heard of everyone wanting a 157 miles EV….lol

Listen closely: You can hear the Nissan LEAF drivers crying out for a 48kWh battery. That’s a 150 mile EV.

I want a choice of ranges. 80, 120, 180 would be nice ones to choose from.

Rather a 400 miles EV otherwise give me a Volt.

$40k after incentives is not “affordable”.

It’s one third the price of the Tesla Model S in China, so it seem more affordable at least.

Very bland and boring looking. Must have used MBZ’s design house.

This really is not that far off from a base Model S here. $63K for this with 47.5KW battery or $69K for Model S with 60Kw battery. I would take the Model S.

Comparing prices regionally and from country-to-country on a straight dollar for dollar basis is not something you can do – well you can, but its fairly meaningless.

About the best you can do is to look at the comps and get an equivalent.

The DENZA starting from $52,000 USD (pre-incentives)in China would be roughly equal to about $38,000-$39,000 in the US.

“As this is a locally made product, the Denza qualifies for up to 114,000 renminbi ($18,300) in the Beijing area”

Why do we put up with such blatantly protectionist trade laws from an export powerhouse like China?

*lol*… compared to what the US and EU have been doing for a long time… 😉

Is it just me, or does this just look like a slightly longer Ford CMax Energi?

I didn’t catch that until you posted kdawg. I lulled myself into believing it was much larger.

I assume 47.5 kWh is the gross size. Usable capacity is how much? 36 kWh? What’s the weight of the car? Let’s say it’s a hair above 4,000 lbs. If so, I would think 36 x 3.3 = 119 miles would be realistic on the US EPA cycle. If the usable capacity is greater than 36 / 47.5 kWh, then what about the battery’s longevity? I mean, 10, 20, 30 years down the road.

Chemistries vary.
The lithium iron phosphate used by BYD is a bit low on energy density, but is good for thousands of cycles and tolerant to deep discharge, especially considering that is not likely to happen often for private motorists with such a large battery.

LiFePo4 is also famous for ‘Good’ operating status for very cold and very hot ambient temperatures.
That’s the only conversion battery packs used currently in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada for our EV conversion owners at Manitoba Electric

Did Daimler give BYD a B-class electric glider and tell them to put whatever they wanted into it? It kinda looks like a B-class to me anyway.

They are pretty close

But both cars badly need a much better Tesla look!

I probably missed something, but what about the timing? When will it be in consumer hands in volume?

If they could manage 40,000 USD landing price here in Europe, i.e. lower than 30,000 EUR, they would land a killer machine and blow up the market.

At 50,000 EUR nobody will buy it.

affordable ev means:

$35k-40k before incentive
$62k before incentive