July 30, 2021

Gp Delivers1

The excellent automotive artisans1

Renault looks at cheaper battery tech for retro EV

PARIS — Using a less-expensive battery technology could help Renault meet a target price of less than 30,000 euros ($36,000) for the Renault 5 small full-electric car, CEO Luca de Meo said.

Renault and rival Volkswagen have both said that they are aiming for a price of 20,000 euros to 30,000 euros for the next generation of small EVs, which would bring them in line with higher trim levels for current internal combustion models.

Renault’s current small EV, the Zoe, starts at about 33,000 euros in France before incentives, as do full-electric versions of the Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa. But even the highest-trim-level Renault Clio with a gasoline engine starts at 28,900 euros, and a base model is less than 16,000 euros. Clios with full-hybrid powertrains start at about 27,000 euros in France.

De Meo said in an interview with Automotive News Europe that the retro-styled Renault 5 could reach its price target by using batteries with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes, which have less energy density than batteries that use the more common nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cathodes. at some point in its life cycle. That makes the battery packs heavier, but also less expensive. 

Batteries still make up around 30 percent of the total cost of an EV, although that figure has fallen in recent years.