Friday, July 27, 2012

Renault Reaffirms Its Support For An EV Industry Located In France

Published July 27, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

The Nissan-Renault alliance has been placing itself at the forefront of the electric vehicle industry.

Nissan’s partner is restating its ambition to be present across the entire electric vehicle value chain, from technical architecture to motors and batteries, with confirmation today that it is supporting the development of a EV electrics industry in France as part of ongoing negotiations with LG Chem.

A final agreement is expected in the second half of 2013.

The negotiations are to create a new phase in the research and development of next-generation electrical batteries as part of a three-way draft agreement involving Renault, CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and LG Chem. This agreement targets the development of next-generation batteries for production in early 2017.

Negotiations also touch the LG Chem-led construction of a European battery factory in France. This factory would produce current-generation batteries from the end of 2015 and, from early 2017, the new-generation batteries resulting from the agreement between Renault, CEA and LG Chem.

Renault, LG CHEM and CEA are hoping to sign a three-way agreement in September concerning next-generation battery production.

In 2010, Renault and the CEA initiated a strategic partnership in the areas of clean vehicles and mobility for all. As part of this partnership, they signed several research agreements including a strategic cooperation contract for new battery technologies.

The joint Renault/CEA laboratory “advanced batteries,” set up as part of this agreement, has been tasked with developing new technology for lithium-ion batteries in the medium term. The studies conducted by the laboratory, which has received an annual budget of around €15 million since 2010, have now reached a sufficient stage of maturity to plan life-sized tests with a manufacturer.

Consequently, a three-way agreement between Renault, CEA and LG Chem is currently being finalized and should be signed next September.

This agreement complements the studies currently under way between Renault and the CEA, which have a broader reach, and will concern only the development of next-generation batteries.

These batteries will deliver, according to Renault, higher performance in terms of durability, and fast-charging capacity. LG Chem, which is recognized as a leading global player in electric batteries, will provide its technological expertise in this field, acquired over a period of over 15 years. To date, LG Chem has filed more than 6,000 patents.

The Nissan-Renault alliance wants to see a battery factory in France and is keen to build ties with a blue-chip partner able to invest in a battery factory that would meet the needs of European markets. As part of ongoing negotiations, Renault is supporting the idea of a battery factory located in France and to be managed by LG Chem.


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