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Daimler teams with BYD to build electric cars

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Daimler teams with BYD to build electric cars

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

Daimler AG and China's BYD Co. signed an agreement today to establish a joint venture to develop electric cars in China.

The two automakers will invest $86 million initially to design the electric vehicles under a new brand that will be jointly owned.

The agreement to establish a 50-50 venture, Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., formalizes the plans the companies announced in March.

The venture will draw on Daimler's expertise in electric vehicle architecture and BYD's know-how in battery technology, the German automaker said in a statement.

BYD, backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet, is new to the car-making business but is a leading producer of batteries.

"Together with Daimler, we are making excellent progress identifying opportunities to utilize the strengths of both companies to create a new brand of electric cars in China," Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, said in a statement.

The Chinese government is pushing for the development of clean, alternative technologies to reduce pollution and reliance on imported oil.

The Beijing authorities have designated cities in China that will be first to have the battery-charging infrastructure necessary for electric cars. They are expected to outline incentives soon.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100527/AUTO01/5270454/1148/Daimler-teams-with-BYD-to-build-electric-cars#ixzz0pAcuW1cg

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