Renault is putting logistics considerations at the centre of its plans for electric vehicle manufacturing in Europe.
The company has chosen its Flins plant, 30km outside Paris, to make its future zero-emission electric city car, based on the Zoé Z.E. Concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier in September. It has also chosen Valladolid, 150km north of Madrid in Spain, to make an electric car based on the Twizy Z.E. Concept. Both choices were influenced by the vicinity of the plants to the sales market to simplify logistics flows, according to Renault.
In addition, the company has also revealed plans to produce a zero-emission version of the Kangoo Express LCV at Maubeuge Carrosserie Automobile in northern France. It will be built on the same production line as the internal combustion models and will benefit from the logistics network of the current Kangoo, said the company.
Flins will begin production in 2012 while Valladolid will add the Twizy version to its production run from 2011. Maubeuge Carrosserie Automobile will also begin production of the Kangoo Express LCV in 2011.
Flins has also been allocated as the production and recycling site for the batteries used to power the Zoé concept successor. Renault will produce the batteries from mid-2012 as part of a Renault-Nissan Alliance partnership with the French Atomic Energy Commission and the French Strategic Investment Fund. Production capacity is aimed at 100,000 batteries a year.
A Renault spokesman said it was too early to talk in detail about the logistics network supporting this production but, as Michel Faivre-Duboz, senior vice president of Global Supply Chain, told Automotive Logistics earlier this year, supply chain management for electric vehicles and the batteries that power them is an important issue for the company as it moves forward. “One of the key foundations of supply chain and logistics is that it must be able to anticipate or to synchronise. The electric car project is something fully applicable for this policy,” he said. (Read more here)
Flins was also chosen because it is specialised in the production of B segment cars, including the Clio Campus and New Clio. The facility will become a central hub in the carmaker’s electric vehicle activity, producing the company’s core range of electric models.