Renault Intends To Add A More Affordable Electric Car To Its Lineup

DEC 10 2016 BY MARK KANE 16

Renault announced that as of January 1st, 2017, Gilles Normand (earlier Renault Senior VP and Chairman of the Asia-Pacific region and member of the Renault Management Committee) will become the Senior VP of Electric Vehicle.

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

Not that exciting of news to be frank.

However, the press release on the hierarchy change also includes a commitment to develope  new affordable electric car.

It’s possible that Renault could be referencing a cheap EV for China, but we doubt it would be tucked into this Eurocentric release.

There is also a chance for an EV introduction of a new EV based on the Renault Twingo, which still awaits its chance at becoming an EV – not counting the Twingo-based smart forfour electric drive vehicle that will be released in early 2017 in Europe only (the new fortwo arrives in the US in a few weeks time).

Renault holds about a 25% share of BEVs today in Europe and has sold more than 100,000 BEVs in the region since 2012.

This year Renault hopes to sell around 30,000 electric cars (including the electric quadricycle Twizy) – 24,000 of them to fall on the ZOE.


Kwid Concept – “Z.E. Ready”

Reanult’s current EV lineup includes the ZOE, Kangoo Z.E. van and Twizy, as the Fluence Z.E. faded away about a year ago.

The new electric model could also be loosely based on the Renault KWID, of which a Z.E. ready concept was shown off three years ago.

“Groupe Renault is leader of the electric vehicle market in Europe, with 25% market share. Since 2012, Renault has sold more than 100,000 EVs.

A major advancement in September 2016 saw the presentation of a new Renault ZOE equipped with ZE.40 battery, allowing it to reach a record 400 km homologated range. Groupe Renault is also working on a new affordable EV model.”

Gilles Normand said:

“I am very motivated by this new strategic challenge at a time when the Global EV market is entering into a significant growth phase. I look forward to working with the team to continue to drive our leadership in existing and new markets, and bring exciting EV vehicles to our customers”.

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16 Comments on "Renault Intends To Add A More Affordable Electric Car To Its Lineup"

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They should refresh the Twizy with a modern and aggressive look.

Or better yet, an improved battery. Or hell, redesign the whole outdated drivetrain.

A 60 kWh Megane sized vehicle would be nice. With a station wagon option. We like stationwagons and hatchbacks in Europe.

Renaults European best seller is the Clio, but we have the Renault Zoe already.

The next best seller is the Megane, so I definitely agree with you.

Then it’s time for the Captur.

Absolutely! Many even a little bit more battery.


I think Renault will make an electric Twingo before to make a Mégane.
A Twingo is more affordable than a Mégane.
The Smart ForFour will arrive soon, so perhaps Renault plan to make a Twingo with ~35kWh in three years.
But in the other hand, Renault can use the plateform of the futur Leaf II to make a Mégane 60kWh.

Twingo is designed to be an EV. Smart4four is already in production on the same chasis and production line as Twingo, so no high additional costs. If they will use same shitty small battery as Smart with the production cost of 2000eur it can be cheap.

Yes that would be one more step towards a full range of ev vehicles, so that all buyers can find their model in ev as well as ICE.

“affordable” is a pretty vague term… It’s not like Renault’s been making Tesla-priced EVs (or ICE cars, for that matter), or that anyone expects them to.

Clearly any carmaker serious about EVs (and both Renault & Nissan are, no question) will to gradually offer lower-cost ones.

As to the candidate for this announcement, I very much suspect it’s going to be a cheaper Smart EV equivalent (BEV Twingo).
I’d love to see a BEV MPV (i.e., Mégane Scenic), but that’s probably still too expensive for the target market. I also would never buy one myself… Renault reliability is even worse than PSA’s, without at least making up for it by interesting designs.

While it is true that Renault generally has poor reliability, it seems they have markedly increased the quality of its Captur. In all probabilty, when Nissan launches its Note e Power in Europe ( hopefully below 20k € price point) Renault just might transfer its tech into Captur (hopefully with a 23-25k price tag) and thus expand its market share even more. As for the all-electric offerings we all wish 900-1.000 range per charge, but I suspect they cannot deliver that just yet, at least until they grasp amplifying transistor tech.

Renaults are much more reliable since the last few years of Megane/Scenic II. My Megane III only had one serious problem and Renault was very fair (paid a big part of a few kEUR).
My parents have a Captur I. E.g. the starter didn’t survive the warranty time (automatic Start&Stop), recall because of brake hoses, very poor heating…


Hi Mark, A couple of points: 1. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Goshn recently said that they were targeting a 8000USD BEV for China using local sub-suppliers to reach that low price tag. This news made the headlines everywhere so I am not sure if/how you missed it. 2. The picture of Renault KWID is the one of concept car! Renault already sold more than 100 000 units of the KWID in 2016 in India and is aiming at other markets. So time to update the picture! Also worth mentioning that the KWID is selling for less than 5000 USD and the trick is removing features (0.8L and 1L engine, manual gearbox, no airbags or electric windows as standard, etc.). 3. For that 8000 USD BEV in China, Renault is likely to develop a new BEV platform that will spawn many more vehicles in the future. Renault has tremendous experience in building cheap and highly-profitable platforms via its sub-brand DACIA. Dacia Sandero starts below 10000 USD in EU and Dacia Duster starts below 12000 USD. Both cars have 80% parts in common, generate a margin >10%, and are ranked n1 in EU for maintenance! Dacia will sell 500 000 units worlwide in… Read more »

Not speaking for Mark, but I think he was referencing the Kwid concept from 2014 as being touted at the time as”ZE-ready”, not the 3 cyl. petrol version in production today

They should drop the expensive batterylease then..

Why? I thought Germany was one of the last countries, where Renault didn’t offer their vehicles with a battery to buy? (since a very few months where the Zoe 41kWh came, maybe they even aren’t delivered yet)
And having both options is IMHO better. Together with that the reduced the prices a bit, at least for the short-term contracts.
Just don’t know if it’s possible to switch…


Take a Renault Clio. Put in a cheep motor and controller, charger and battery, like 18 kWh. It’ll cost around 6 kUSD and the car 10 kUSD so total 16kUSD to get the same margin on a cheep ev as the clio gas car. It’ll only travel around 100km/65miles but that’s enough if the car is that cheep.

Pretty much no developing costs either. And the battery as small as 18kWh can be fitted in a car made for a gas engine.