Renault and Bolloré form a partnership in electric vehicles; assembly, car-sharing and 3-seat Bluecar
Following the letter of intent signed in September 2013 (earlier post), French groups Renault and Bolloré are joining forces to promote electric vehicles through a set of three agreements involving assembly, a car-sharing JV, and new vehicle development. In order to reduce significantly the environmental impact of cars, the partners noted, the development of electric vehicles and car-sharing is not an option—it is a necessary transformation.
The overall environmental impact of an electric vehicle is virtually half that of an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, Renault noted, citing its comparative study of Fluence ICE and electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) The three agreements include:
Assembly. The Bolloré Group has commissioned Renault gradually to take over assembly of the Bluecar, formerly built solely in Italy. The vehicles will be assembled at the Renault plant in Dieppe (Normandy, France) from the second-half of 2015. For the Dieppe plant, this decision is an acknowledgement of its expertise and a promise for its future activity.
The Dieppe plant specializes in building vehicles in small series. It currently builds Clio IV R.S. and is set to build the future Alpine, scheduled for launch in 2016. The Dieppe plant will be able to rely on the expertise of the Renault group in electric vehicles to acquire the skills necessary to assemble this type of vehicle.
A new final assembly workshop will be set up specially within the plant to build these vehicles. The Bolloré group will thus have access to a modern production tool tailored to its requirements and delivering a significant reduction in costs.
Car-sharing JV. The Renault and Bolloré groups have decided to set up a joint-venture, the aim of which will be to win and to install complete electric car-sharing solutions in France and Europe. The Renault group will hold a 30% interest in the joint-venture, while the Bolloré group will own 70%.
As part of this agreement, from the second-half of 2014, customers using car-sharing networks in Lyon (Bluely) and Bordeaux (Bluecub) will be able to choose a Twizy, a vehicle that is different but complementary with the Bluecar, already available on a car-sharing basis in both Lyon and Bordeaux.
Renault vehicles will be gradually integrated with the car-sharing fleet to reach a proportion of 30% as quickly as possible.
Feasibility study for a 3-seater Bluecar. The Bolloré group has asked Renault to conduct a feasibility survey on the design, development and production in a Renault group plant in France of a smaller car than the existing Bluecar (three seats instead of four), able to support the expansion of car-sharing initiatives. This vehicle could also be sold to consumers, companies and municipalities.
This electric vehicle will ship with a Blue Solutions lithium-metal-polymer (LMP) battery with a capacity of 20 kWh.