Daimler, together with one of its Chinese partners, BYD, has established the new vehicle brand Denza that will focus on eco-friendly vehicles including electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

The Denza brand is a 50:50 joint venture between Daimler and BYD and is expected to unveil a concept of its first model, an electric car, at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show later this month.

BYD, originally a battery manufacturer, is a world leader when it comes to electrified vehicles and was actually the first in the world to bring to market a mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle.

It will provide the joint venture with its experience in battery technology and electric drive systems, as well as bringing electric cars into operation on the streets of China. Daimler, on the other hand, will bring its know-how in premium vehicle design and safety technology.  

Electric cars, due to their limited range, are especially well-suited for urban driving. With its many metropolitan areas, China has the potential to be among the world’s largest markets for zero-emission electric cars.

Denza’s first model will go on sale in 2013.