Renault Trucks is beginning serial production of its D and D Wide Z.E. electric trucks (earlier post) in its Blainville-sur-Orne plant in Normandy. The factory, which has been operating since 1957, specializes in the production of medium-duty vehicles and truck cabins; 240 cabins are made every day and 72 distribution trucks are assembled.
Various facilities have been installed in the Blainville-sur-Orne industrial site to manufacture the electric models. Located next to the truck assembly line for the distribution range, the 18,000 m2 Z.E. building is now entirely dedicated to technical operations relating to electric vehicles.
Technical procedures are performed upstream and downstream of the Renault Trucks D and D Wide Z.E. passing through the assembly line. This building is also used to store components; in particular a temperature-controlled area is dedicated to battery storage.
Manufacture starts one week prior to the electric trucks passing through the assembly line, with preliminary operations performed within the Z.E. building. Various subassemblies specific to all-electric vehicles (drive, engine, gearbox, modular power box, etc.) are assembled by skilled technicians. They are then transported to the assembly line in order to be mounted onto the vehicle.
The Renault Trucks D and D Wide Z.E. are assembled on the same line as the equivalent diesel models. At the end of the assembly line, the electric trucks are returned to the Z.E. building for the technicians to carry out additional technical operations and quality tests.
In total, 50 hours of work is required to manufacture an electric truck. Renault Trucks predicts that electric vehicles will represent 10% of its sales volume by 2025.