Renault’s EV Strategy: Advance Battery Technology, Improve Aerodynamics, Minimize Drivetrain Losses and Reduce Charging Times

DEC 29 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 14

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe

Renault’s future EV strategy is rather simple, but putting together all the pieces of the puzzle might take quite some time.

2013 Renault Zoe

2013 Renault Zoe

Renault says it’ll attack future EVs from four angles:

  • Battery technology advancements
  • Improved aerodynamics
  • Reduced charging times
  • Minimized drivetrain losses

Aside from improved aerodynamics, all of the aspects targeted here rely on at least moderate advances in technology.

Renault wants its future EVs to take on a full charge in 2 hours and to top up (50% to 80% charge) in as short as ten minutes.  Those charging times are achievable today with DC quick charge, but we’re certain Renault is not referring to that charging method when it says 2 hours. We have to assume then that Renault want to get at-home charging times down to 2 hours.

To minimize drivetrain loses, advancement in several technologies will have to be made, including electric motors.

The big advancement that needs to come though is in battery technology.  Renault targets 260 km (162 miles) of range in its future EVs, which would be double what the ZOE offers today.  And that’s precisely the statement Renault is making: goal is doubling the range of vehicles like ZOE.

We hope Renault is able to achieve all of its targets within a few years’ time and then we wish Renault decides to sell its EV here in the US.  We do realize the ‘sell in the US’ won’t happen, but a Nissan version of any new developments at Renault does seem likely.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Charging, Renault

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14 Comments on "Renault’s EV Strategy: Advance Battery Technology, Improve Aerodynamics, Minimize Drivetrain Losses and Reduce Charging Times"

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All noble goals, but perhaps they need to focus on SELLING their vehicles, first? Sell the Zoe in the US…

Agreed – Those goals are sort of the expected natural evolution of these cars, but the battery tech advancement is the only one that is REALLY important. I think the charge time of the current generation of EVs is plenty acceptable. 4 hours for a recharge on L2 and much less on a DC fast charger.

How would that be positioned in the US? Below the leaf in nissan’s line….

1. Nissan Leaf (small/midsize)
2. Nissan Zoe/Versa Electric (city/small)

Because Nissan does not want them here, taking sales away from the leaf.

Selling the battery instead of leasing only, could help too…

Here’s a physics question for you all:

They said that the GM ev1 was able to go about 150 miles on a charge in the last version of the car. Why is it that a car with very old technology was able to achieve a range better than today’s cars with new battery technology?

Because it was a small 2 seat car, made of ultra expensive and lightweight materials and with really good aerodynamics.

All well known quantities. The batteries of today have vastly more storage per unit of mass than anything the EV1 had.

Finally, the 150 mile range was the standard EV lie… they don’t give you the parameters required to get 150 miles. Will it go down the freeway at 65mph (about 100km/h) for 150 miles? Absolutely not. Would it do so with the most efficient battery from today? I believe so.

And because of the extreme lightweight construction, it would score really bad in todays crash tests.

Good information Tony; interesting that people seem to assume things that are not true because they want to. Perhaps it’s the media not telling the full story, I don’t know.

Raises an interesting question: why doesn’t the Government require a standard mileage measurement? How about running the car on a standard dyno at 65 mph until the battery depletes from full to empty and measure the range under ideal conditions?

A lot of people don’t realize that the range of the Tesla “S” is cited at 265 miles at 55 mph and not freeway speed. Wonder how far the car would do at 65 mph on a dyno? Wonder how far a RAV4 would go?

“Raises an interesting question: why doesn’t the Government require a standard mileage measurement?”
The Government does have a standard measurement, and it’s called the EPA cycle. However, the EPA cycle has gone through some changes since the EV1 days (instead of 2 cycles, there are now 5 cycles).

The EV1 with the newest nimh pack can go 140 miles on the 2 cycle EPA test (lead acid version went 80 miles). The Model S can go 320 miles on the 2 cycle EPA test. If you swapped out the EV1’s batteries for Model S batteries, I bet it would go even further (probably 400 miles or more).

“A lot of people don’t realize that the range of the Tesla “S” is cited at 265 miles at 55 mph and not freeway speed.”
The range of the Model S is 265 miles on the 5-cycle EPA test.
The range at 55mph is ~310 miles.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=32557
http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/model-s-efficiency-and-range

Indeed, the current generation of ZOEs already charges in 30 minutes on a 43kWh charger, so they must be referring to something else. Well, fingers crossed they pull it off by the time my future ZOE is up for replacement.

instead of dreaming of the future, they should focus on doing something to improve sales of the current Zoe

Wrong. Unless you mean lower the price of the Zoe to a fair level then you are only partially wrong. But I’m guessing you went for 100% wrong.