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Groupe Renault acquires PVI, a specialist in the electrification of Light Commercial Vehicles

Groupe Renault has acquired the French company PVI (Power Vehicle Innovation), which specializes in the conversion of commercial vehicles to electricity or natural gas.

PVI has previously worked with Groupe Renault on the development and electrification of the upcoming Renault Master Z.E. This large van, which was unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show in January and which is due to be launched before the end of 2017, will extend the Group’s existing range of electric LCVs. (Earlier post.)

This electric version of Master is aimed primarily at fleets running last-mile distribution services in the city, as well as large municipalities and local government. This heavy van’s load characteristics, range and charge time are tailored to the needs of business customers in and around cities.

Master Z.E. is equipped with a 33 kWh and fitted with a 57 kW motor inherited from ZOE. Master Z.E. has a range of 200 km (124 miles) NEDC.

PVI currently offers three fully-electric powertrain solutions:

  • L powertrains, GVW of 3.5t to 7.5t (Renault Maxity commercial vehicle, Gépébus Oréos 2X minibus, the Aptinéo Vehixel minicoach, the DongFeng/Haide 7.5t truck in China, etc.);

  • XL powertrains, GVW of 12t to 16t (Oréos 4X Midibus, demonstration trucks based on the Renault Trucks Midlum, the DongFeng/Haide 16t truck in China, etc.); and

  • XXL powertrains, GVW of 18t to 26t (PVI C-Less 19t and 26t, etc.).

Renault said that PVI’s expertise and small-scale, flexible production facility will benefit Renault, while Renault will provide economies of scale for the purchasing of components as well as a significant technology portfolio.

We are very pleased to welcome PVI’s team specializing in electric conversions to Groupe Renault. This acquisition is part of the Group’s strategy to develop its business by proposing a complete range of electric LCVs coupled with connected services. As the number one European manufacturer of electric LCVs, this is a unique opportunity for our teams to work on the next generation of this type of car. Together we will continue to innovate to ensure increasing proximity with our business customers while addressing their every need.

—Ashwani Gupta, SVP, LCV Division

This acquisition also includes Escal, a subsidiary in which PVI has a 95% stake. Escal specializes in the distribution, installation and maintenance of security systems for lifting vehicles. Escal itself manages PVI’s service, maintenance and mechanical integration activities. Both PVI and Escal, with a combined workforce of 93 employees, are attached to the Groupe Renault’s LCV Division.


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The Renault Zoe finally became a useful BEV with the new 42kwh battery and 300 km of real world range. Why Renault waste their time making a much larger car the Master Z.E. with only a 33kwh battery is beyond me. It needs a 80 to 100 kwh battery to be useful.

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