A new electric vehicle brand, Denza, will make its debut at the Beijing show later this month. It’s the name chosen by BYD Daimler New Technology (BDNT), the 50-50 joint venture between Daimler and BYD for its EVs, due to be launched next year. The JV was launched in 2010 with an investment of US$95m.

“We are at the forefront in China as the first company to form a joint venture for the development of a pure electric vehicle, and we’re continuing our pace forward with this landmark event today,” said Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia and chairman of Shenzhen-based BDNT.

BYD is providing the battery technology and e-drive systems while Daimler brings knowledge of EV architecture and safety to the JV, said Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD, who also sits on the BDNT board.

Beijing has previously announced that China should be a leader in new energy vehicles with the current five-year plan calling for annual production capacity of 1m vehicles with pure-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounting for 50%.

SAIC Motor, China’s biggest automaker by revenue, has an EV partnership with GM; Volkswagen has said that it plans to start EV production in China by 2014 and Volvo is reported to be planning mass production of its C30 electric cars in China depending on government policies and progress on infrastructure.