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One in five cars could be electric by 2020 says Renault

Date: 30 June 2008   |   Author: Guy Bird

Renault Kangoo compact

Renault will launch its first full-electric vehicles in 2011 and by 2020 believes EVs could account for a fifth of the total global car market.

Speaking at Renault's annual environmental workshop electric vehicle project director Serge Yoccoz told BusinessCar: "Electric vehicle technology is moving much faster now, as we have more actors on the stage. 15-20% of the global car market could be EV by 2020."

The first Renault EVs will be adapted versions of the forthcoming new Kangoo and Megane four-door saloon and will launch initially in Israel with sister products from Nissan due to very favourable tax breaks and a massive plan to roll-out 250,000 charging points in that country. In 2012 an all-new vehicle specifically designed to be an EV with a more global remit - potentially including the UK - will break cover.

In terms of EV whole-life costs Yoccoz said it was still early days but expected them to remain "significantly cheaper" to run than conventional engined-vehicles. Renault reiterated EVs' whole-life eco benefits too, claiming that even if all the electricity used were generated from the most polluting current coal-fired power station the well-to-wheel CO2 impact would still only be around 100g/km, well below almost all existing conventional cars.