Renault-Nissan believes electric vehicles (EV) will account for 10% of the world automotive sales by 2020 and has invested €4 billion to help push its ambitions in the market.
Renault and Nissan now have a global team of 2,000 people between the two companies which are dedicated to electric vehicles.
Renault is hoping the introduction of electric vehicles will become a success with consumers, which will also larglely rely on an adequate infrastructure to charge the cars.
It’s Renault’s aim to market electric vehicles at the same price as a diesel-powered vehicle of an equivalent size and equipment level.
Renault will introduce a four electric vehicle range, starting with Kangoo Van Z.E next year. From 2012, three further models will be launched: Fluence Z.E. plus two new, all-electric models which will have their own specific, designs based on the Twizy and Zoe concept cars.
Renault's electric vehicle production strategy
Renault will manufacture its first four electric vehicles in four different factories, with production beginning mid 2011.
Renault will make the vehicle previewed by the Zoe Z.E. Concept in Flins, near Paris, while the electric versions of the Kangoo Van will be manufactured in Maubeuge, in northern France.
The car derived from the Twizy Z.E. Concept concept car will be produced at the Valladolid factory in Spain.
The electric versions of the Fluence will be made in Bursa, Turkey.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance's batteries
The battery comprises 48 power modules, positioned in two rows, side by side. Modules are similar in size to a laptop computer and each one incorporates four elementary cells.
The four cells of each module store 8.4V each, making a combined total of 400V for the 48 modules that make up the battery.
These lithium-ion batteries are produced by AESC (Automotive Electric Supply Corporation), a Nissan-NEC joint venture founded in April 2007.
The battery is maintenance-free and delivers between 80 and 100% of its original capacity for an average duration of six years. It will also be possible to charge it for short cycles with no adverse effect on capacity.
Three battery-charging techniques:
- A standard charge using a simple domestic household mains supply or at the workplace (between six and eight hours).
- Fast charge: permits batteries to be charged to 80% of their capacity in 20 minutes.
- Battery exchange stations: rapid battery exchange in bespoke exchange stations in some countries. For example, in Israel, Better Place is currently putting a network of such stations into place. About 100 will be operational in 2011 and they will be compatible with Renault's first all-electric saloon car, Fluence Z.E. Further stations will be opened progressively in other countries.
Battery production facilities are currently under development in: Flins (France), Sunderland (UK), Cacia (Portugal), Smyrna (Tennessee, USA), Zama (Japan).