An electric car for 15,000 euros

Renault wants to build on its earlier successes with two new electric models. Meanwhile, Foxconn plans to soon be represented with its components in every tenth electric car.

Renault boss Luca de Meo at the presentation of the Megane eVision.

Renault has not been able to come up with good news for a long time: the affair surrounding Carlos Ghosn, the difficulties in the alliance with Nissan and then in May the announcement that the group will cut 15,000 jobs worldwide. On Thursday evening, the CEO Luca de Meo, who took office in the middle of the year, tried to shine more light on Renault’s core business, vehicle construction. The Italian manager, who ran the VW subsidiary Seat until last year, presented two electric models: A cheap model from the Romanian subsidiary Dacia called Spring, which, according to unconfirmed press reports, will cost around 15,000 euros. After deducting the bonus available in France, only 10,000 euros remained for a car with a range of 295 kilometers, it is said. With the Spring, Renault and Dacia want to build on their successes with low-cost vehicles such as the Logan and the Duster.

In the eyes of de Meo, Renault is a pioneer in the field of electric vehicles: The small car Zoe, which first came onto the market in 2013, “is the best-selling electric car in the world this year after the Tesla Model 3,” he reported; In France alone, the manufacturer sold 110,000 of them this year; 350,000 Renault electric cars are on the road worldwide.

A range of 450 kilometers

However, the group does not yet have a complete range, especially in the higher-quality segment. This is to close a new family of Megane with electric drive (“and with a golden ‘e’ at the end of the name”). At the beginning of 2022 the “Megane eVision” from the C-Class should come onto the market. De Meo described it as a compact vehicle (15 centimeters shorter than comparable C-Class cars), but spacious on the inside and weighing 1650 kilograms, which means that the vehicle remains under the weight tax planned in France, which is supposed to start at 1,800 kilograms.

The battery, which is said to have a power of 220 hp, provides a range of 450 kilometers. As part of its alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, Renault uses a platform that Nissan is already using for its electrically powered SUV Ariya. A whole family of vehicles is to be created on the platform. “More than 300 patent applications have been submitted for it,” reports de Meo. The group prides itself on its battery recycling processes. 30 percent of Renault’s new cars are already built from recycled materials. With recycling and reuse, Renault now makes more than 500 million euros a year.

De Meo expects that the global auto market will consist of half electric and hybrid vehicles in five years. But there is still a long way to go before then. According to the market research institute Jato Dynamics, the market share of electric cars in Europe increased between January and August of this year from 1.9 percent to 4.1 percent compared to the previous year.

The plan: to be represented in every tenth electric car

The electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, which works for Apple, and the battery manufacturer LG Chem also want to expand their business with the electric vehicle industry. Foxconn from Taiwan wants to be represented with components or services in every tenth electric car worldwide between 2025 and 2027, as CEO Liu Young-way said on Friday. Foxconn and Fiat Chrysler have already announced a joint venture for electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, LG Chem boss Hak Cheol Shin told Reuters news agency that his company was talking to a number of automakers about joint ventures to produce batteries for electric vehicles. Corresponding joint ventures with the American automaker GM and the Chinese manufacturer Geely are already planned. The cooperation with the electric vehicle pioneer Tesla, which LG Chem supplies with batteries, has got off to a good start and should be expanded. However, no joint venture is planned here.

LG Chem is already one of the leading suppliers of e-vehicle batteries and operates a factory in Poland for the European market. Another location in Europe is being sought, Shin said.