Speaking at the Munich motor show, the Renault Group’s director of R&D, Gilles Le Borgne, argued that 2040 is a more practical target, most notably for the Dacia brand and its customers who have a greater focus on affordability.
“First, I must be clear that we aren't resistant to the transition. We were the first to move to sell electric vehicles and we have more of them on European roads than any other manufacturer,” said Le Borgne.
“But there are three clear reasons why we believe it makes sense to extend the transition. Firstly, we want absolute confidence that the infrastructure matches the rate at which BEVs are mandated. That's far from certain, and to go faster makes no sense.
“Then, while we have absolute confidence that we have the technology - hybrid, plug-in hybrid and BEV are all on sale today - we don't know if we have the customers who want it or, more significantly, can afford it.
“Finally, and critically, we need time to adapt. Switching our factories over to these new technologies isn't simple and adapting our workforce to it will take time. You can't switch just like that, and such a timeline would be hard for us - and harder still when you work the supply chain into the mix.
“But I want to be clear: I'm not pushing back for technological reasons. We are ready. We have said that Renault will sell 90% BEV vehicles by 2030 and Alpine 100%, but we think Dacia will be closer to 10%.
"Society is built on freedom of movement, and unless it's affordable, it will have an undesirable impact. People need to move - and a popular brand like Renault has to be able to offer them a chance to do so in a practical way and at an affordable price.”