A new EV has been launched in China with a 62kWh battery and range of around 250 miles on a single charge. Although made by Chinese manufacturer BYD exclusively for the local market, it could prove an important model here in Europe as it has been co-developed by Daimler and is based on a Mercedes Benz B-Class platform.
The Denza 400 comes from the Daimler/BYD collaboration and proves that a high capacity battery could be fitted into an existing Mercedes platform to offer a substantial electric range. Newly fitted with a 62kWh battery – up from the previous model’s 47.5kWh pack – the system’s drivetrain uses an 86kW (115hp) electric motor, completes the 0-62mph sprint in 14 seconds, and has an NEDC energy consumption rating of 18.6 kWh/100km.
Although 250 miles is likely to be optimistic, as with the majority of EV range statements, even if it achieves only 80 per cent of the quoted figure, the Denza 400 could still cover 200 miles relatively easily. That would put it considerably ahead of current European EVs – all bar Tesla – and at least on a par with the forthcoming Opel Ampera-e and basic Tesla Model 3. It is certainly considerably more than the current B-Class Electric Drive can achieve – at a quoted 124 miles.
Also, crucially the Denza 400 is DC rapid charge compatible – albeit with a Chinese standard, but one that offers the 50kW power output of most European rapid charge points. The Mercedes B Class Electric Drive is not able to rapid charge.
With Mercedes having announced a focus on producing more EVs with greater range, the Denza 400 could well prove the platform for a new entry-level electric model from the German manufacturer.