Renault plans to unveil electric vehicles in India

The company, which unveiled its city two-seater ‘Twizy’ in the country, also plans to produce up to 500,000 units of electric vehicles (EV) globally by 2014.

"We will launch the electric car versions of our family saloon ‘Fluence’ and the compact utility electric vehicle ‘Kangoo’ in 2011 in Denmark and Israel, followed by the launch of Twizy. We hope to bring all these electric cars to India within four years of their global launch," Renault vice president Ashish Sinharoy said.

He said the company will first bring electric cars to India as completely built units (CBU) but may look for local assembly of manufacturing later. The company plans to introduce the electric car in the European market post 2012.

All the Renault electric vehicles will use lithium ion batteries. While Twizy has a single charge mileage of 100 kilometre, Fluence and Kangoo will run up to 140-160 kilometre in a single charge.

In 2011, the company plans to start with an initial production of 50,000 units of electric vehicles at its facilities in France and Israel and hope to reach a figure of 500,000 units in the following three years.

"By 2014, we will be producing around 500,000 units annually. The batteries will come from our plant in Portugal," Sinharoy said.

Renault had invested Euro 4 billion ($5.71 billion) for development of its zero emission platform over the last five years. The Israeli government has offered tax incentives for 30 years besides committing investment of $1.5 billion as part of its agreement with the company and better Place.

The company will also unveil its compact saloon Zoe during the inaugural day of Delhi Auto Expo on Tuesday. "We are in discussions with the Delhi state government to finalise details regarding special incentives for Electric Vehicles, like tax benefits, besides planning to enter into talks with other state governments," Renault country general manager Marc Nassif said.

He further said: "Globally we have entered into over 30 memoranda of understanding with various national governments and local authorities for launching zero emission Electric Vehicles (EVs). We hope to enter into such agreements in India as well."

In the European markets, the company has tied-up with local electricity authorities and is looking for similar arrangements in India, he added.

Speaking during the unveiling, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit said: "I do hope when it (Twizy) will go into production India will become customer of this."