(Yicai Global) Nov. 8 -- China will make breakthroughs in intelligent connected vehicles and new energy vehicles, and Daimler will unveil its first domestic Mercedes-Benz battery electric vehicle next year, Leng Yan, the firm's executive vice president, China, said yesterday at the Global Automotive Industry Development Forum held during the first China International Import Expo.
The new BEV, the Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV, has an overall operating range of over 450 kilometers, farther than Tesla, said Leng, state media The Paper reported yesterday.
New energy technologies are Daimler 's highlight at the CIIE, which runs from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10 at Shanghai's National Convention & Exhibition Center. For example, the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL on display at the CIIE combines an innovative hydrogen fuel battery and power battery in its unique plug-in hybrid power system.
The vehicle's fuel cell system is almost one-third smaller than previous technologies and placed in the engine compartment for the first time, and the output power of the entire drive system can be increased by nearly 40 percent.
Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler will uphold its commitment to research and development of NEV technologies and greatly expedite electrification of its products. The entire Mercedes-Benz lineup from Smart cars to large SUVs will be electrified by 2022. Daimler also plans to invest more than EUR1 billion (USD1.15 billion) to build a global battery production network.
The carmaker is also energetically positioning itself in intelligent connectivity and electrification in the country. The firm released its CASE strategy in China in 2016 to build a technology platform in four areas, including Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric, which are the future development directions for Daimler and its Mercedes-Benz cars and Smart cars, Leng explained.
The company will cooperate with Hangzhou-headquartered tech jumbo Alibaba Group Holding in the artificial intelligence sector by integrating Mercedes-Benz's vehicle-mounted connectivity with Alibaba's Smart Home and speaker system. The German automaker will also cooperate with Baidu to jointly promote the development of autonomous driving technologies. Daimler is also one of the first firms Beijing has approved for self-driving road tests.
The company funded and built an electrification research and development center in Shenzhen and teamed up with locally-based BYD Auto to unveil the DENZA BEV, whose second-generation overall operating range tops 450 kilometers.
Auto sales in China were third in the world after the US and Germany several years ago but surpassed them last year to equal their sum this year. The country is thus number one in the world in both market capacity and car consumption power, Leng noted.
China is also at the forefront of the automotive industry's new trends. Daimler recognizes that the government has made the greatest efforts to develop intelligent connected vehicles and expects that China will be the first to make a breakthrough in new energy and intelligent connectivity, he added.
Editor: Ben Armour