Renault prepares to double output of Zoe EV

FLINS, France — Renault is preparing to double production of the full-electric Zoe at its factory here outside Paris. The surge in output as part of a billion-euro investment in electric vehicles by the French automaker.

A new version of the Zoe will appear next year, the first substantial change to the small battery-driven hatchback since its introduction at the end of 2012.

Renault ZOE at our test drive event in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Tisdall)
Renault ZOE at our test drive event in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Tisdall)

The Zoe was the top-selling EV in Europe from 2015-2017, but so far this year it has been narrowly overtaken by the redesigned Nissan Leaf, from Renault’s Japanese alliance partner.

Last year about 30,000 Zoes were produced at the Flins plant, with a total of 100,000 made since the model’s debut. Renault officials want to increase the rate of production to about 440 per workday from about 220 per day.

The factory will use its traditional August recess to prepare for the increase. This will include upgrading the in-house battery assembly area, officials said earlier this month at an event that included a tour of the plant.

The Flins factory, which opened in 1952, makes Renault Clio hatchbacks, the Nissan Micra hatchback and the Zoe on the same production line. Last year, about 63,000 Clios and 94,000 Micras were produced at the plant.

Recent upgrades to Renault’s EV range, which includes the Twizy, which is an electric alternative to a scooter, and two electric vans, have been focused on range and power, but that is about to change.

In addition to the redesigned Zoe, likely to be on the existing architecture, the company’s Drive the Future strategic plan calls for a total of eight EVs by 2022. Some of those EVs will be on a new alliance platform called CMF-EV set to debut no earlier than 2020. Vehicles on that platform will be built at Renault’s plant in Douai, northern France.

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Buyers are snapping up electric runarounds – and some are worth 30% more than a year ago

  • New data shows that 11 second-hand cars have increased in value in the last year
  • That’s despite each one having another 12,000 miles put on the clock
  • Of the appreciating models, the biggest increases came for old electric cars
  • The list also includes petrol and petrol-hybrid older vehicles

If you want to buy a car that will rise in value, you usually need to go for something classic or exotic – not a £6,000 runaround.

But new figures reveal a handful of family cars bucking the usual price trend and they all share one attribute, they are electric.

Cheapest Electric Cars UK (Image: Fuel Included)
Cheapest Electric Cars in the UK (Image: Fuel Included)

The Renault Zoe is top of a list compiled by price specialist HPI of second hand cars that are rising in value – and someone who bought one this time last year could potentially now sell it for 30 per cent more.

This means that if you had bought an average Renault Zoe in July 2017 for £6,300 and spent the past year putting 12,000 miles on the clock it should now be worth £1,900 more, says HPI.

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Renault Launches Electric Car-Sharing Service in Paris

The automaker and city officials will also collaborate on future mobility services

Many European countries are considering ending sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, but the city of Paris isn’t waiting around. The French capital has already tested a “day without cars,” and has discussed banning internal-combustion cars by 2030. That makes Paris the perfect place to launch an electric car-sharing service.

The Renault Electric Z.E. Range (Image: Renault)
The Renault Electric Z.E. Range (Image: Renault)

Renault has teamed up with the city government to give Parisians access to electric cars. The automaker hopes the to continue working with Paris officials on future mobility services. For now, Renault is deploying a fleet of electric cars in Paris that residents will be able to access 24/7.

Cars set aside for longer journeys will be kept in designated parking lots and accessed via special stations. Other cars, designated for shorter journeys, will be accessible without the stations. Available cars will include the Renault Zoe hatchback, the Twizy neighborhood electric vehicle, and the Kangoo ZE and Master ZE vans. Renault hopes to have a fleet of 2,000 vehicles in operation by the end of 2019.

As a next step, Renault and city officials will initiate a “working group,” open to other cities and companies, “whose aim will be to think collectively about the integration of changes in mobility in the city,” a Renault press release said. The automaker hopes to involve the C40 network, a coalition of some 100 cities chaired by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

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Final testing before the rouen normandy autonomous lab on-demand mobility service opens to the public

Métropole Rouen Normandie, Transdev Group, Groupe Renault, Matmut – partners in the Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab initiative – are testing, with the support of the Normandy Region and Banque des Territoires, the first on-demand shared mobility service to use autonomous vehicles on open roads in Europe. The service will be made available to the public in the final quarter of 2018 with four autonomous Renault ZOE all-electric vehicles and an i-Cristal autonomous urban shuttle jointly developed by Transdev and Lohr.

The Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab service will provide extensive coverage in Rouen’s “Technopôle du Madrillet” business park in Saint-Etienne du Rouvray through connections to the “Technopôle” tram stop. The goal is to provide mobility solutions in an area to which conventional public transportation services are poorly suited, in a first-mile and last-mile approach. Users can call a vehicle in real-time from the smartphone app.

A royal birthday for ZOE (Image: Renault)

The vehicles will run on three routes covering a distance of 10 kilometres, with 17 stops across the district and a link to the Rouen public transportation system.

The four Renault ZOE all-electric cars used in the project are already being tested on open roads and are equipped with autonomous systems developed by Transdev and Renault. The tests cover all considerations related to typical traffic conditions, such as other vehicles, intersections, rotaries and building exits. The fleet will also feature an i-Cristal autonomous urban shuttle jointly developed by Transdev and Lohr.

After a period of tests, this on-demand experimental service is due to be made available to the public in September 2018, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals, and will the run until December 2019. This trial will provide an opportunity to fine-tune the technology and gain insight into usage and take-up among local residents to enable necessary adjustments.

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Renault Confirms “New Alliance Electric Platform” New Electric Vehicle Family

One billion euros is a lot of cash, even for an automaker as successful and strong from a financial standpoint as Renault. As part of the Drive the Future strategy, the French automaker said that it’s investing more than that “to accelerate investments for the development and production of electric vehicles” in its domestic market.

Aiming to strengthen the industrial base in France, jumping on the EV bandwagon is the right thing to do. A considerable chunk of the one billion euros will go into the introduction of “a new Alliance electric platform” that will be manufactured in Douai. There, the company will open its second electric vehicle manufacturing site.

Regarding the assembly plant in Flins, Renault confirmed that it’s doubling production capacity of the Zoe subcompact hatchback. This decision comes as a result of an increase of 44 percent in registrations in 2017. The automaker’s growth in EV sales in Europe stands at 38 percent, boasting a 23.8-percent market share.

Over in Cleon, the company will “triple electric motor production capacities” and introduce “a new generation electric motor from 2021.” This news comes days after Renault updated the Zoe to R110 specification, improving the output to 109 PS.

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