Volkswagen is not the only car brand to look into the Chinese market with a low-cost EV, as Renault is planning a similar move.
With engineer Gerard Detourbet leading the project, the French are said to plan a zero-emission car for the People’s Republic, one that will solve both the range price parts, two problems that are keeping buyers from choosing a vehicle in this segment, as Forbes reports.
The first step into this direction has been already taken and announced by the brand’s chief, Carlos Ghosn, not that long ago: “We know that the price is a handicap; people are buying very cheap electric cars. So the question is, what is the best compromise between an acceptable performance and the lowest price possible? This is something that doesn’t exist today and we are willing to find a solution.“
Several months later since the initial announcement, Carlos Ghosn told a few journalists, who were attending the Beijing Motor Show, that the brand’s local partner, Dongfeng, will play an important role in the development of an affordable electric vehicle.
“High price EVs with very good performance are not selling very well in China. What is selling in China are lower spec models, more affordable ones. Renault and Nissan will continue to develop high spec models, but we are also working very hard on introducing low spec affordable electric cars, and for this we are working with our friends from Dongfeng.“
Citing LesEchos, Forbes states that Gerard Detourbet, who is in charge of Renault’s low-cost vehicles and the man behind the Kwid, is bound to get the job done, because “once Detourbet comes on scene, matters get serious, and price competition will be brutal.“
The French financial newspaper speculates that the final product could actually be a plug-in hybrid, based on the Clio and with batteries supplied by LG Chem, but this hasn’t been confirmed by the automaker.
H/T to HybridCars