Renault Will Atempt To Dethrone Tesla As Leading Electric Vehicle Maker

The logos of car manufacturers Renault and Nissan are seen in front of dealerships of the companies in Reims
The logos of car manufacturers Renault and Nissan are seen in front of dealerships of the companies in Reims (Photo: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

Renault SA is bent on keeping up with the competition to cater to the growing demand for electric vehicles in Europe, and it looks like Nissan will be there to help.

The French automaker prides its best-selling Zoe but is nevertheless planning a new all-electric car at par with the Volkswagen AG ID.3, and most especially, the Tesla Model 3.

Emmanuel Bouvier, commercial director of Renault's electric car business, has stated that the EV may share the same platform with alliance partners Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

"We're working on developing the range of our lineup so as to cover all segments with electric cars," Bouvier said. "It's too early to say that we'll be in competition with Tesla head on, but we're obviously planning to cover a larger share of the market."

Nissan and Renault have already entered the electric car market with the Nissan Leaf and the Zoe, but the models have been notably called out for lacking shared underpinnings as well as integral components.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is perhaps the most important partnership in the automotive business, so expectations are high should the triad produce new cars. However, Carlos Ghosn's arrest in November has shaken the foundation of the companies, contributing deep tensions within the group.

As carmakers, however, the alliance is expected to improve on their electric systems to align their technology on the stringent emissions standards. EV sales have seen a rise over the years, but battery-powered cars can't seem to distance from becoming a niche product that's merely an option for buyers. But all these could change as more companies are producing their own line of EVs, such as the ID. 3 and Peugeot 208 small car, which are both considered affordable.

Bouvier also mentioned that Renault is releasing a new version of the Zoe in 2020, and another model that's more budget-friendly. According to the exec, the company is thinking of using the K-ZE low-cost car it built for China, partly based on the Indian Kwid model, to design a more affordable EV for the European market.

As the demand for the new Zoe is continuously growing, Bouvier said Renault will pursue its plans to complete eight EV models by 2022.

Renault has huge plans for its EV line, but it's worth noting that the Model 3 is currently enjoying huge popularity among consumers. It looks like it would be extra challenging for any carmaker to dethrone Tesla, but we'll just have to wait and see if the French side's newer, bigger electric car will be any different.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts