Daimler said it had broadened its new energy vehicles (NEV) line with the new Denza, extended-range 400, a 'made in China, for China' electric vehicle built by Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology joint venture (BDNT).

The 400 offers upgraded battery, electric motor and electronic control for an electric range of up to 400km (about 250 miles) on a full charge. The vehicles are manufactured at BDNT's independent production line at BYD HQ in Shenzhen. The new flexible production line will increase capacity based on future market demand.

"The start of production of another NEV underlines Daimler's comprehensive approach in the area of electric mobility," the automaker said in a statement.

"Our joint venture BDNT unites the best of Sino-German cooperation in new energy vehicles. Already offering safe, reliable and convenient electric vehicles from and for China, the Denza 400 with upgraded range offers our Chinese customers a further improved driving experience," said Daimler's Greater China chief Hubertus Troska.

"We are confident about the future prospect of new energy vehicles in the country. Daimler will continue to invest in research and development of efficient and eco-friendly new energy vehicles which represent a key pillar of our China growth strategy."

In addition to electric vehicles, Daimler's strategy in China to reduce emissions and promote environmental responsibility includes an increasing line-up of plug-in hybrid vehicles. In 2013, Mercedes-Benz became the first automaker to offer petrol, diesel and hybrid models at the same time in China. The E 400 L Hybrid was the first locally-produced hybrid from a premium brand, while the Smart electric drive (electric power consumption combined 15.1 kWh/100km/ CO2 emissions combined 0g/km) was the first imported premium all-electric vehicle from Europe.

The Denza 400 has improved battery density achieved through an upgraded production process that increases the capacity from 47.5kWh to 62kWh while maintaining the original size. With an upgraded range of up to 400 km, most Chinese consumers, who generally drive 50km to 80km (30-50 miles) per day will only need to recharge once a week. 

The first generation Denza was launched in 2014 as the initial offering from the first Sino-German joint venture dedicated to electric vehicles in China. Almost 3,000 units were sold in its first year.