Renault will not look to bring any further electric vehicles to market, relying instead on its existing stock
7 August 2013

Renault needs to leverage its existing electric vehicles rather than introduce any new models if the technology is to be a commercial success, the company's global head of EVs, Béatrice Foucher, has told Autocar.

Foucher said that Renault, a pioneer of EVs along with alliance partner Nissan, needed to redouble efforts to remain competitive with EVs as rivals, including BMW with its i range, start launching their own EVs.

To do so, Foucher said that the firm needed to price the cars more affordably, target sales in markets with “a mature attitude to CO2 reduction” such as in northern Europe, create a used market for EVs to ensure that they retained residual values, and ensure that EVs provide a long-term income for Renault by leasing batteries. 

Renault has sold 29,000 EVs worldwide to date, and one in two of all EVs sold in Europe is a Renault. Although these figures barely make an impression in the global car market, Foucher points to slow sales of the Toyota Prius in its first eight years on sale before it flourished.

More needs to be done to educate people about the practicality of EVs in terms of price, charging and range, Foucher said. Improving the range is something that it is working flat out on with its battery supplier, he added. 

So far, the typical buyer of a Renault EV is a home owner in a suburb or provincial town who can install a private charging point. A normal charging cable that can be plugged into a typical household socket, negating the need for a charging box, is being developed by Renault and is tipped to be rolled out next year.

Renault EV buyers are mainly using their vehicles as second cars, with their first car typically being from a premium marque. They see their EV as an eco good-conscience buy or, in the case of the Twizy, a toy.

Renault is also investing in wireless charging, but the prohibitive cost of this technology makes it unlikely to be developed significantly until the latter part of the decade. 

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Comments
9

8 August 2013

Totally predictable. Renault bet the farm on EVs taking off and there is no indication they ever will. Poor product, misguided strategy. Last year's Car industry man of the year will be lucky to hold onto his job as this lot unravels.

8 August 2013

 "Improving the range is something that it is working flat out on with its battery supplier, he added. "

A poor choice of words perhaps..............

 

8 August 2013

..in not the most likely places. There at least 2 Zoes residing in small villages near my parents-in-law in Northern Alsace where any town of significance is at least 20 miles away.

Come to think of it, seen more Zoes on the road there than in Paris! (Although Paris does have the Autolib' electric car sharing network that is well used)

Zoe looks seriously pretty on the road, the new Clio is a complete minger in comparison - coincidence?

Oh and Béatrice Foucher is a lady...

8 August 2013

Well, I hope for the sake of Renault, that it does work out in sustatainable number for them.

I do think the general public is becoming more away of them, even my partner, who has no interest in cars, knows all about electric ones. At his work, they have one of the Peugeot iONs as a pool car. He's driven it loads and loves it. I've seen a few councils and governmental bodies driving about Edinburgh in similar cars. Things like that are raising awareness.

It will be a waiting game, and maybe Renault, Nissan and BMW will be on the right side of it when orders start to happen in a couple of years time. Everyone else will be playing catch up.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

8 August 2013

The fundamental problem with pure electric cars (as opposed to hybrids) is that the infrastructure to charge them is either not in place or not even feasible ...

It's okay if you live in an urban setting and have your own property with either a driveway or garage, but if you live in an apartment, where do you "plug in" your vehicle to charge?? ...

I'm afraid that whilst oil is in existence, electric vehicles will always be seen as alternative transport for just the lucky minority ...

8 August 2013

Suzuki, I agree, but if early adoptors do buy these cars, it will allow manufacturers to continue to invest in the technology, and hopefully bring about the type of infrastructure needed. Its a catch 22 situation.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

8 August 2013

... the biggest electric car range among all the car makers of the world. How does this question arise?

Why on earth would they bring more EVs when most car makers have yet to make their first electric car?

8 August 2013

fadyady, that's the point of the article. They are investing in their current range rather than adding more models

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

8 August 2013

The Zoe is the make or break model for them. Renault are known for their small cars, and usually a limited range is much less restrictive for most small car owners too.

As the Zoe is based on the Clio, but much better looking it might nick a few sales, but if its not much of a success i suspect it will be the end for Renaults electric cars.

I havent driven an electric car yet, but the 2 people i know who have both were very impressed (but not enough to buy one), so perhaps its a case of getting people into them.

Maybe there will be enough people who want to drive into places like London where it does make financial sense, to keep them going. I have to say, apart from the mad Twizy, the Zoe is the best looking and probably the most sensible elctric car so far so if anything has a chance it must. 

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