On the occasion of the “Future of the Car Summit” organized by the Financial Times, Renault CEO Luca de Meo expressed interest in the return of electric cars with interchangeable batteries from the Renault brand.
The subject of electric cars with interchangeable batteries is nothing new at Renault. In 2008, the French manufacturer had forged close ties with the Israeli company Better Place to support its projects for battery exchange stations for connected vehicles.
Renaut recycles old ideas
At the time, the idea was then to deploy dedicated infrastructures, but also adapted to an elected vehicle, the Fluence. Five years later, Renault backtracked by stopping its investments in this type of system, shelving this project which has since become dusty. Before a certain Luca de Meo gives him a little polish.
During a speech during the “Future of the Car Summit”, headed by the Financial Times, the general manager of the group has indeed put the subject back on the table. And the person concerned to declare:
I asked the engineers to find a solution to start again on the original idea of Renault during the years 2010/2011, and maybe we will see it happen on some cars.
The concept seems in any case to appeal to the entrepreneur, who would see here a way to replace his empty battery with a full accumulator in record time. Enough to minimize waiting times at charging stations. “Nothing is decided, but I see an interesting opportunity. We must find a pragmatic solution», He emphasizes.
NIO’s European offensive
Would Luca de Meo see the arrival of NIO on the European market as a potential threat, or on the contrary, as a source of inspiration? In addition to manufacturing electric vehicles, this Chinese company also specializes in interchangeable battery stations: in China, it notably reached 2 million “swaps”.
Nio will attack the Old Continent through Norway, where it will install several dedicated stations in the course of 2022. Will Renault respond to this offensive? Response in the years to come.