Renault signs a letter of intent with the Nord-Pas de Calais Region on Electric Vehicles

Renault today signed a letter of intent on Electric Vehicles (EVs) with the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in France. The Group has strong presence in this region, with four plants.

This agreement marks the starting point of a study heralding a Regional Plan for the Development of Electric Vehicles for Businesses and Consumers.

The Regional Plan for the Development of Electric Vehicles makes provision for the appointment of an “Electric Vehicle Project Manager”, along with a study on equipping Regional fleets with electric vehicles, and a project for installing charging infrastructure for electric car use.

The plan will be supported by the MEDEE (Maîtrise Energétique des Entraînements Electriques), a research unit set up to develop technological innovation with the emphasis on energy efficiency, in coordination with the I-TRANS unit, set up to promote innovative forms of transport. Particular emphasis will be placed on training and innovation.

Kangoo Express Z.E., whose final design and price were revealed at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover on September 22, is the first production electric van developed and produced by a vehicle manufacturer.

This vehicle will arrive on the market mid 2011. It is built at the Renault MCA plant in Maubeuge (France). As a responsible company, Renault is aiming to be a pioneer in sustainable mobility so that everybody gains from automotive progress. This is reflected in the company’s continuous efforts to reduce the ecological impact of vehicles over their life cycle (design, production, use and end-of-life).

Renault is therefore fully committed to the development of electric vehicles, with a line-up of four vehicles scheduled to arrive on the market between now and end-2012.

Renault is the biggest private-sector employer in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region with four plants:
– Georges Besse in Douai producing Mégane CC and Scénic,
– Maubeuge MCA* (Maubeuge Construction Automobile) producing Kangoo,
– STA – Ruitz, 80% owned by Renault, producing automatic gearboxes,
– Douvrin (Française de Mécanique), 50% owned by Renault, which produces engines.

The Douai and Maubeuge plants together employ more than 7,000 people.

The partnership agreement between Renault and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region comprises a number of strands:
– Equipping vehicle fleets in the Region

The Region agrees to promote the acquisition of EVs by the local authorities within its geographical area. To set an example, the Region will acquire Renault EVs for its own fleet.

– Providing charging infrastructure

The Region will pay for a significant part of the infrastructure studies conducted by local authorities and will contribute to financing, with particular emphasis on business areas and public car parks. Supplying charging infrastructure with renewable energies and/or via shorter circuits will be a systematic priority.

The terms and procedures for financing this charging infrastructure will be specified at a later date after discussions by the Regional Assembly.

– Promoting electric vehicles (EV) o Supporting local authorities

The Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region undertakes to promote the use of EVs with the local authorities within its geographical area. To this end, the Region has decided to introduce a Regional Plan for the Development of Electric Vehicles.

The council for the Maubeuge Val de Sambre (AMVS) area has decided to take part in this regional initiative and is also making a commitment with Renault through a separate partnership contract.

The Region may encourage other local authorities to form partnerships of the same type.

The agreement with AMVS will be considered as a pilot, which will serve as a model.

Business access to electric vehicles

In the first instance, this support will focus on the self-employed and on very small companies, with assistance from the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Chambers of Trade. This assistance will include: a contribution to acquiring an electric vehicle, a diagnosis of electrical installations, and the installation of a suitable connector for recharging.

Consumer access to electric vehicles

At the same time, the partners are committed to helping consumers acquire electric vehicles.

An ad hoc working group will be set up specifically to address this subject. Made up of members of the Regional council and Renault staff, it will seek primarily to put in place incentives and to implement promotional and information campaigns.

– Appointment of an “Electric Vehicle Project Manager”

As part of the operational implementation and management of this agreement, Renault and the Region will each appoint a Project Manager. The Project Manager appointed by the Region will be responsible for the Development Plan and will act as secretary to the Regional Conference.

– Scientific input, training, development, innovation

The MEDEE research unit (Maîtrise Energétique des Entraînements Electriques) and the ITRANS unit will support the project through the various programme strands.

The association grouping the region’s leading engineering and business schools (CRGE) is taking action to publicize and support the arrival of electric vehicles, in terms of communication, the development of expert projects and the search for partners.

A special course has been put in place at the Arts et Métiers ParisTech school in Lille: a Master’s degree specializing in Electric Vehicle Engineering (an option in the Master’s degree on Mobility and Electric Vehicles in partnership with the Renault Foundation and

Adult education courses will provide training in the new “electrical” careers of the future.

Studies are under way on the possibility of providing skills-building support for small and medium-sized companies. Renault is expressing total commitment to the environment since, as Patrick Pélata, Chief Operating Officer, points out: “Through these electric vehicles, Renault has opted for breakthrough technology.

These vehicles are the best response to issues relating to energy and the environment, because they emit no CO2 during use, no particles and no noise”.

The Renault MCA plant in Maubeuge, which has used recycled stormwater in processes since 1999, is on the cutting edge of this challenge, since it has exclusive responsibility for producing Kangoo Express Z.E., the first production electric van.

Kangoo Express Z.E. will go on sale in Europe in 2011 at a price of between €15,000 and €20,000 excl. VAT (excluding options), depending on applicable tax incentives. Ownership of the vehicle and batteries will be dissociated. Customers will be able to buy or rent their Z.E. van and take out a subscription for the battery from €72/month. With Kangoo Express Z.E., filling the tank will cost between €1 and €2, depending on the cost of the kWh, a price that bears no relation to the fuel budget necessary for an internal combustion-engined van.

Renault MCA (Maubeuge Construction Automobile)
Workforce: 2,278 at December 31, 2009


1969: Founding of the Maubeuge plant by Société des Usines Chausson (SUC), with two production units (press shop and body assembly).
1971: Founding of the company Chausson Carrosserie, owned 52% by SUC, 24% by Renault and 24% by Peugeot. Three new production units are built: paint shop, final assembly and finishing.
1972: The first car comes off the production lines (Renault 17).
1976: Chausson Carrosserie integrates the press shop and body assembly units.
1977: Renault buys the shares of Peugeot and SUC in Chausson Carrosserie, to take 99.9% of the capital.
1981: Chausson Carrosserie becomes MCA (Maubeuge Construction Automobile).
1993: Start of an industrial redeployment plan prior to producing Kangoo at MCA.
1997: MCA is integrated with the Light Commercial Vehicles Division (DVU). The plant starts producing Kangoo and Kangoo Express.
2000: Production of Express stops.
2003: MCA starts producing Kangoo Phase 2 and Kubistar, an Alliance vehicle. Kangoo receives four stars in EuroNCAP tests.
2005: Production approval for Kangoo, generation 2006.
2007: Production approval for New Kangoo, car and LCV.
2010: Production approval for New Kangoo Express Maxi.
2011: Kangoo Express Z.E.
Certification: EAQF (supplier quality), ISO 9001 version 2000, ISO 14001, HPR.
Vehicles built: Kangoo II, Kangoo II Express.