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Renault selects DHL for Li-ion battery pack replacement logistics services

Renault has selected DHL as its first logistics provider to manage and distribute replacement Li-ion batteries to the “Expert Z.E.” dealers network for its entire electric vehicle range. DHL has signed a three-year contract to implement a service to coincide with the launch of the first Renault electric vehicles, Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E.

The Renault sales contract for the electric vehicles is an all-in-one offer including battery replacement after several years of use or in the event of dysfunction—at which point customers visit their dealership to swap the battery.

Renault is the first car manufacture to mass market electric vehicles. In this particular business model, the client will rent the battery reparable in Renault dealerships. Our contract with DHL is one of the key element to ensure that replacement batteries are available for customers—a key quality point that Renault commits to offer to all electric vehicles.

—Jacques Daniel, Renault after-sales director

The Renault Z.E. series includes the Kangoo Z.E., Fluence Z.E., Twizy and Zoe models, which will be launched successively between fall 2011 and mid 2012.

The logistics solution will include the storage of batteries in DHL’s facility in Bonneuil near Paris, the transport of batteries to “Expert Z.E” dealers and importers to countries in Europe and Asia including all major Automotive markets such as Germany, France, Spain and the UK, and the return of used batteries to Renault’s Flins repair center.

DHL will control the whole logistics process including order, exception and data management via its specialized Automotive Control Tower in Veghel, Netherlands. With a specific Renault IT solution, DHL will ensure that each individual battery can be tracked throughout the supply chain.

To manage this kind of logistics—these batteries weigh between 112 kg and 335 kg (247–739 lbs) and have non-standard dimensions—DHL staff including drivers have been specially trained on battery handling and trucks are adapted to the load (specific rails and equipment).

As another element of the cooperation, DHL will add eight more vehicles of the type Renault Kangoo Z.E. to its road test in the Rhine-Ruhr area (Germany), trialing the operational suitability of electric vehicles for commercial fleet operations. The road test started in April 2011.

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