Renault And Bolloré In EV Joint Venture

The Alliance Renault-Nissan’s French side is joining forces with Bolloré to promote electric vehicles as part of three agreements relating to industrial cooperation, the founding of a joint-venture to sell EV carsharing solutions and a feasibility study on the development of a specific new vehicle for carsharing plans.

These agreements are the results of the letter of intent signed in September 2013 by both partners.

Industrial cooperation

Through these agreements, the Bolloré Group has commissioned Renault to gradually take over assembly of the Bluecar, formerly built solely in Italy. Renault said the vehicles will be assembled at its Dieppe plant (Normandy, France) starting in the second-half of 2015.

The Dieppe plant specializes in building vehicles in small series. It currently builds Clio Renaultsport and is set to build the future Alpine, scheduled for launch in 2016. Renault added 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.

The French automaker said a new final assembly workshop will be set up within the plant to build these vehicles. The Bolloré group will thus have access to modern production tooling tailored to its requirements and delivering a significant reduction in costs.

EV carsharing solutions

With a number of cities now taking coercive measures to address air quality and congestion by limiting traffic, the Renault and Bolloré groups have decided to set up a joint-venture, whose aim will be to win and install complete electric carsharing solutions in France and Europe.

The Renault group said it will hold a 30 percent interest in the joint-venture, while the Bolloré group will own the remaining 70 percent.

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As part of this agreement, starting in the second-half of 2014, customers using carsharing networks in Lyon (Bluely) and Bordeaux (Bluecub) will be able to opt for a Twizy, a vehicle that is different but complementary to the Bluecar, already available on a carsharing basis in both locations, said Bolloré.

Renault vehicles will be gradually integrated to the carsharing fleet to reach a proportion of 30 percent as quickly as possible, added Renault.

Three-seat vehicle

The Bolloré group said it 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 carsharing initiatives. This vehicle could also be sold to consumers, companies and municipalities.

This EV, added Bolloré, will be equipped with a Blue Solutions lithium-metal-polymer (LMP) battery with a capacity of 20 kilowatt-hour.