Carlos Ghosn, Chairman & CEO of Renault, declared after meeting the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, on January 16, “Renault is a French company, a socially responsible citizen, attached to its industrial and technological roots. This is one of the reasons why we decided to produce Zoë, the core of Renault’s Electric Vehicle range, in the Flins plant in France, near our 10,000 engineers, starting in 2012.”
“No decision had been taken concerning the production location of the next Clio in 2013. I confirmed to the French President that we will produce the Clio 4 in Flins, with a double sourcing in Bursa, Turkey. The future of the Flins plant is guaranteed and employment will be maintained at term.”
Renault estimates that electric vehicles will account for 10 per cent of the world market by 2020. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is investing €4 billion in its zero-emissions programme and a 2,000-strong team (1,000 at Renault, and 1,000 at Nissan) is working on electric vehicle programmes.
Renault will start to market all-electric models in 2011, starting with a family saloon in Israel, followed by a Kangoo van and supermini-size car in Western Europe. Another bespoke electric vehicle is then scheduled for release in 2012. Renault will begin fleet customer trials in 2010.
Alistair Darling, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced on December 9th 2009 that electric cars would be exempt from company car tax from April 2010 for five years, with electric vans also benefiting from van benefit charge exemption over the same period, plus a 100 per cent first year allowance towards the purchase of such a van.
Renault announced its plans to go electric with a mass TV advertising campaign in the UK – marking the first concerted effort by a big name car producer to go low-carbon.