Renault-Nissan Alliance To Electrify China's Trucks And Vans
www.chinatrucks.com: Accompanied by the usual media crescendo, albeit without putting his words into action, Tesla’s Elon Musk has been talking a lot about launching electric trucks, and starting production of EVs in China. World’s leading EV maker, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, again is way ahead of Tesla, on both counts. Not only does the Alliance already have a few hard working electrified commercial vehicles in its blue collar portfolio. The Alliance also has firm plans to produce many of them in China, Ashwani Gupta, Alliance senior vice president of a recently created Renault-Nissan LCV Business Unit, told me.
Earlier this week, the Alliance announced intentions of a light commercial vehicle (LCV) joint venture with China’s Brilliance. With 268,485 light trucks and vans sold in 2016, Brilliance’s JinBei has a solid presence in that market. The joint venture will develop, manufacture and distribute new vehicles and services under both the JinBei and Renault brands. The all-important conversion business will be handled by a Brilliance group company which already turns mass-produced trucks and vans into campers, police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and so forth. Most of the LCV made under this JV are expected to come with electrified powertrains also.
“Electrification of our coming LCV line-up in China is a very clear objective,” told me Gupta over the phone from Paris. “After all, Renault is the only company in the world to have four LCV EVs in its product lineup.” They range from the diminutive Twizy Cargo, an electric quadricycle with a small trunk, and the Commercial ZOE (based on new all-electric ZOE) to the electric Kangoo Z.E. “and the electric Master Z.E. van, which we will launch end of this year,” Gupta said. Nissan also has an e-NV200 electric van.
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