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Renault signs electric fleet deals

Date: 22 July 2009   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Renault, whose electric cars will be sold or leased to fleet operators from 2011, has signed infrastructure agreements with car share specialists greentomatocars, hardware providers Elektromotive and regional development agency One North East.

Christine Tissot, general manager of electric vehicle business development, said: "We believe we have an advantage over the opposition by saving time learning from past mistakes. Other infrastructure partner discussions involve British Gas, RWE and EDF."

With a predicted monthly battery leasing cost of between £100 and £200 Renault claims renting power packs with a life expectancy of six years will not affect RVs.

Tissot expected Renault to fit Kangoo vans and MPVs, plus the upcoming electric two-seater urban car and a supermini sized hatchback with standard satnav locator systems to pinpoint recharging points and "quick drop" battery exchange centres.

She said that Renault rejected the approach, adopted for General Motors' Vauxhall Ampera, which uses a small petrol engine to extend the car's range, on cost and technical grounds.

Over complex range technology cost a manufacturer between £162 and £215 per gram more to reduce emissions from 100g/km to zero than electric-only power, Tissot claimed.

Renault UK sources believe it is unlikely they will import an electric Megane saloon, from 2011 and developed specifically for an Israeli initiative called Project Better Place.