The European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union -- has approved EUR20.5 million ($27.73 million) in French state aid for Renault for the development of diesel hybrid technology aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from commercial vehicles. The French state aid consists of EUR3.8 million in grants, EUR3.4 million for industrial research and EUR13.1 million for experimental development.
According to the Commission, the French state aid was in line with EU rules. The Commission said in a statement that Renault will equip the Trafic and Master ranges with a new diesel hybrid engine as part of the project.
The Commission said that as a result, the diesel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions for the Trafic and Master will be reduced considerably.
It remarked that the state aid addresses “a genuine market failure without giving rise to an undue distortion of competition.” This is the third state aid case approved by the Commission to support r&d activities for new hybrid engines, after PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Valeo.
While the aid to Renault is aimed at commercial vehicles, the aids to PSA and Valeo were for passenger car engines. Renault plans to undertake its hybrid project in partnership with Continental, Valeo and LMS International, and the IFPEN research body. [source: automotive news - sub. required]