GUANGZHOU, China -- Daimler plans to invest 5 billion yuan ($755 million) in China for factory capacity to manufacture electric cars and the batteries to power them, part of an effort to help its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands comply with the country's green car production and sales quotas.
Hubertus Troska, head of Daimler's greater China operations, told reporters that the investment was part of Daimler's previously announced 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) global green car initiative.
Daimler said in September that it plans to expand its partnership with local automaker BYD to bring new EV models to China. Currently, the partnership produces an electric sedan under the Denza brand in the country.
China has set strict quotas for electric and plug-in hybrid cars (New Energy Vehicles) that come into effect from 2019. It has an ambitious target of 2 million NEV sales by 2020 and has signaled longer-term it will phase out the sale of conventional combustion-engine cars.
This seismic shift towards NEVs has prompted a flurry of electric car deals and new launches as manufacturers worldwide race for a share of the world's largest auto market.