Earlier this year, Daimler flagged the lightning-quick rate of battery development as crucial to future Mercedes EVs. Now, we've got an indication of just how fast things are moving under the Daimler umbrella. The Chinese BYD Denza 400 shares a basic platform with the B-Class EV launched in 2014, but improvements in the production process mean a battery of the same size now provides twice the range.
Although it's not the prettiest thing out there, the Denza 400 offers up an impressive range. Thanks to developments in the production process, Daimler's previous battery pack has jumped from 47.5 kWh to 62 kWh without getting physically bigger.
Maximum range is now pegged at 400 km (249 mi), meaning you'll be running out of juice just 8 km (5 mi) earlier than the your friend in their 60 kWh Tesla Model S. According to BYD, most Chinese commuters cover between 50 and 80 km (31 and 50 mi) a day, which means a weekly charge is all that will be required.
Even though it's not quite the 500 km (311 mi) promised by Mercedes earlier this year, it is a step towards a point where Daimler EV products are able to handle the bulk of day-to-day commuting without too much stress.
"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," says Hubertus Troska, Board of Management of Daimler AG. "We are confident about the future prospect of new energy vehicles in the country."