In a press release on the Europa.eu website, the European Union have announced the approval of a €20.5 million grant to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles.
Renault applied for the funding through the French Government National Loan programme in 2012, to support their HYDIVU project: to develop a diesel hybrid drivetrain for a low carbon vehicle based on the Trafic and Master range of commercial vans. The project was accepted by the French Government in 2012 and has since been approved by the EU.
Renault will carry out the HYDIVU project in collaboration with three other companies (Continental, Valeo and LMS International) and a research body (IFPEN).
The approval has been granted despite concerns that it presents an unfair market advantage to Renault – The EU considered that drive trains for vehicles of this type were not being developed by other manufacturers or by Renault, and would not be without funding of this type.
In the words of the EU, there was a “genuine market failure” and it is “both necessary and sufficient to spur Renault to carry out an R&D project that it would not otherwise have launched of its own volition”
To explain: commercial (more…)
According to the FT, Bolloré, the French conglomerate behind the successful Autolib EV rental scheme in France, aim to sell their electric car-sharing scheme to Asia and also in London in the UK.
Bolloré view Asia as a key area of growth, and mention the demand generated by the need to tackle air pollution; London also have a problem meeting internationally agreed pollution targets, and it would seem likely that Bolloré are focussing on the markets with more than one incentive to adopt EVs: pollution as well as energy reduction.
This planned expansion comes on the back of a recent announcement that they would be expanding battery production, and partnering with Renault.
FT.com article (requires subscription): Bolloré in drive to sell electric car-sharing scheme to Asia – FT.com
RENAULT & BOLLORÉ’S ELECTRIC VEHICLE PARTNERSHIP
The Renault and Bolloré groups have signed a letter of intent to study the joint development of car sharing solutions and set up industrial and commercial co-operations in the area of electric vehicles.
1 – Joint marketing of comprehensive electric vehicle car sharing solutions in urban areas
After the success of Autolib´ in 55 Ile-de-France cities and the contracts already won by the Bolloré group in Lyon, Bordeaux and Indianapolis, the Renault and Bolloré groups have decided to study the creation of a joint venture that will seek to conquer and install new projects while meeting the growing demand in France and abroad for electric vehicle car sharing solutions. Renault is could even join the Bolloré Group by acquiring stakes in the capital of Bluely (Lyon) and Bluecub (Bordeaux).
2 – Manufacturing Bluecars in France
The expected development of the number of Bluecars -current four-seater model – and the convertible model which will be launched next June, will drive the growth of production. The two groups will study the transfer of certain manufactures in the Renault group’s plant in Dieppe and the supply of parts and components by the same plant.
3 – Design and mass production of a three-seater (more…)
Not exactly breaking news: PSA’s Hybrid Air tech has been in the press for a while, but they showed the Cactus concept at Frankfurt and are saying that the technology will be available in production cars from 2016.
Citroen seem to have a historical obsession with hydraulic air technology, and often bizarre yet ingenious innovation, from the legendary and huge selling DS to the present day. Their hydraulic air suspension is notable, and now alongside Bosch they are applying air and oil pressure technology to drive/energy storage.
It makes a lot of sense though: the technology is (in principle at least) mechanically simple, doesn’t require a great deal of exotic materials or rare earths, and it’s light with an estimated weight saving of up to 100 kg compared to a battery Hybrid, which is the first step towards efficiency. Also: the storage system should lasts a lot longer than batteries, without the gradual loss of capacity after multiple charge cycles, and fewer recycling issues. The system is effectively simpler, lighter and cheaper than a battery, using tested technologies
The PSA Bosch hybrid system uses pressure from the engine and also from regenerative braking – (more…)
Good news – big OEM investing in to the successful Autolib subscription service – this is how new technology projects work: the pioneers tend to be risk takers, and the big OEMs who need to protect their brand and shareholders from high risks buy-in later once it’s proven successful – which is why it’s so important for policy makers and government backed funding to invest in the first place…
French automaker Renault and the Bollore family group that runs a successful pay-as-you go electric car network in Paris, are teaming up to develop technology.
In a statement, the groups said they had agreed to develop car sharing systems for electric cars and cooperate on the manufacturing of the Bollore Bluecar that has become a common sight in Paris since the launch of the Autolib rental scheme in 2011.
French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said the tie-up, first reported by Le Figaro newspaper, was “necessary”, and would allow Renault to take advantage of the Bollore-developed battery that has proved its merit.
The Autolib service deploys all-electric cars for public use on a paid subscription basis, based around a citywide network of parking and charging stations.
The successful scheme currently has 34,000 subscribers, 1,800 vehicles and around (more…)