Since July, the Internet has been home to serval renderings claiming to be of the new electric car being developed by German automaker Daimler and its Chinese auto partner BYD.
So far, no-one within BYD or Daimler has confirmed the authenticity of the pictures, but according to The Wall Street Journal, renderings posted recently on the Sohu web portal of the new Daimler/BYD all-electric car are the real deal.
The three images, one above the other -- show two renderings of the un-named Daimler/BYD electric car, along with a photograph of a Mercedes-Benz B200 for comparison.
Quoting anonymous sources close to both companies, The Wall Street Journal says the photos are authentic.
“It’s very disturbing how these renderings keep leaking out”, said one of the sources. “By the time the car comes out, it won’t be new”.
Although the design is likely to continue to be refined as it progresses towards launch, the two sources say the images leaked online bear a striking resemblance to what the two firms hope to jointly release for the Chinese market in two years time.
The jointly developed car will use BYD’s lithium-ion battery technology, motors and power electronics, while the mechanical parts of the car will be based upon a modified B-class chassis from Mercedes. In other words, a German-engineered car with BYD-based powertrain.
BYD e6 electric taxi in service in Shenzhen, China
Trying to stay anonymous -- and within their non-disclosure agreements, the two individuals claim they have an idea who is behind the leaks. But as French automaker Renault learned earlier this year, the identity of any suspected mole must be fully verified before any wild claims are made.
Neither BYD nor Daimler plan to bring the jointly-developed electric car to market anywhere other than China, but technology developed as part of the project could be seen in future cars from both companies.
In the meantime, unless more information is leaked, we’ll have to wait until Spring to find out more about the first car from this Chinese-German collaboration.