Renault Set EV Eyes on China

Renault has announced its clear immediate EV focus is on the massive potential of the Chinese market.

In a world threatened by a trade war between the US and China, the French automaker is clearly placing its EV eggs in the far eastern bread basket. During a pre-Paris Motor Show 2018 press conference, Renault chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled the new A-segment showcar Renault K-ZE, which is a SUV-inspired electric vehicle, capable of 155 miles NEDC range between charges. It also claims easy charging is also easy to thanks to a double charging system compatible with domestic plugs and public infrastructures. Premium features include rear parking sensors, rear view camera and a central screen with connected navigation and services.

Tellingly for the carmaker’s future strategy, Ghosn highlighted that China is the largest and fastest-growing market for electric vehicles and Renault K-ZE so that’s where the new car will first come to market. It will be manufactured locally by e-GT New Energy Automotive Co, the joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group and Nissan created to develop and produce competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market.

“Groupe Renault was a pioneer and is the European leader in electric vehicles. We are introducing K-ZE, an affordable, urban, SUV-inspired electric model combining the best of Groupe Renault: our leadership in EV, our expertise in affordable vehicles and in forging strong partnerships”, said Ghosn. Renault also confirmed its plans to further electrify its range in its 2020 product range offering hybrid on Clio and plug-in hybrid on Mégane and Captur.

Ghosn also sketched out a future vision where consumers can learn while traveling benefiting from a system bizarrely described as Augmented Editorial Experience. He explained: “With the advent of connected, autonomous vehicles, customers will expect more of their traveling time. Experimenting with Groupe Challenges, we imagine what tomorrow’s connected, personalized mobility experience could be. Access to premium content delivered through unique on-board experiences for drivers and passengers will become key differentiators.”

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

 


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