Aramco Joins Renault-Geely ICE Joint Venture

While French automaker Renault may be staring at a ban on ICE technology for its domestic market, it has kept faith in low emission ICE powertrains for global offerings.

This has illustrated by its as yet unnamed joint venture with China’s Geely creating an engine company focused on building future high efficiency ICE and hybrid powertrains. Now Reuters reports that, unsurprisingly, Saudi oil giant Aramco will also take a minority stake in the new company thought to be of up to 20%.

The agency reports that the two automakers are expected to retain equal equity stakes in the new powertrain company but have yet to disclose how much each would own and how much Aramco would invest. The JV is focused on developing very low emission ICE and hybrid powertrains for markets that are not hamstrung by bans on the sales of new ICE vehicles proposed by the European Union in 2035 and the UK in 2030.

The companies said the JV would have an annual production capacity of more than five million ICE, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines and transmissions per year. Last year, Aramco announced a partnership with Hyundai to study advanced fuels that could be used in hybrid engines to reduce CO2 emissions. Geely previously announced a hybrid gasoline engine development deal with Mercedes-Benz and holds a stake in the German automaker.

In a statement, Renault CEO, Luca de Meo, said: “This partnership with Aramco will… give it a head start in the race towards ultra-low-emissions ICE powertrain technology. Aramco’s entry brings to the table unique know-how that will help develop breakthrough innovations in the fields of synthetic fuels and hydrogen.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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