German firm Daimler and Hong Kong-based BYD have signed a technology partnership to develop a new electric vehicle specifically for the Chinese market.

Under the deal, Daimler will provide its know-how in electric vehicle architecture and BYD will provide battery technology and e-drive systems for the new vehicles.

The vehicles will be designed, developed and tested in a new common technology centre in China and marketed under a new brand jointly created and owned by Daimler and BYD.

In a joint statement, the companies said that with its many metropolitan areas, China has the potential to be among the world’s largest markets for zero-emission vehicles.

BYD is a leading manufacturer in developing advanced battery technology. The company has grown rapidly since entering the automotive sector in 2003. BYD introduced its F3DM dual-mode hybrid electric vehicle to the world in December 2008. Soon, the company will officially launch the e6, a pure electric vehicle.