Published on July 19th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Renault strategy to boost EV & Plug-in sales globally
Thierry Bollore is the Renault Chief Competitive Officer and his mandate is to make sure Renault remains competitive as it seeks to recoup its multibillion-euro investment in EVs, develops next-generation connectivity and autonomous driving solutions and copes with tougher emissions regulations coming from European markets.
The threshold of selling 100,000 units of Electric Vehicles is significant. With internal combustion engine cars, when sales total 100,000 units, you begin to benefit from economies of scale. For battery production, this 100,000 unit threshold is also important for the economies of scale. Renault must reach that milestone as soon as possible. It is just a matter of a few years before Renault does that. So whether production is 100,000 units or 300,000 units a year, Renault must and will be ready.
The biggest development today with EV’s are battery and range. Driving range and charging are the two most important metrics. The weight of the battery is also a factor as is the cost. The speed at which the industry is moving when it comes to the development of batteries is exciting. For Renault, it is important to have a partner for battery development. For Renault, that will continue to be LG and current reliable suppliers.
Renault is on target to reach 100,000 EV sales at the current rate however the market is still limited for plug-ins and EVs. Renault believes that plug-ins are a viable option. With the Renault Eolab plug-in hybrid concept, the fuel consumption target was 2-liters per 100-kilometers and Renault achieved an impressive result of 1-liter per 100-kilometers.
The sale of plug-in hybrids and EVs will grow in parallel. It all depends on the geographical regions and what customers expect. Renault EVs currently on sale have a range of about 200 kilometers on a charge. But in some regions, access to charging stations are limited. In those cases, customers may prefer a plug-in hybrid. But nobody knows for sure which direction demand is headed. Renault believes that it makes sense to have a wide array of offerings and to make all technologies accessible.
As Renault offers both alternatives, the cost will go down because the battery modules are the same in both types of cars. Renault’s strategy is to be ready for both, because both vehicles help each other.