Renault leaks may compromise designs by Nissan, LG, Better Place, sources say

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 10, 2011

Two sources disclosed that alleged leaks of Renault SA electric-car secrets may have compromised affiliate Nissan Motor Co.'s battery blueprints, as well as designs by LG Chem Ltd. and Better Place.

The people said that Renault is accusing three executives of knowingly passing on strategic data. These executives had access to designs for Nissan and LG power packs and battery-management systems supplied by California-based Better Place.

An investigation is ongoing. One of these sources said that Nissan, which designed batteries in a venture with NEC Corp. for its Leaf electric car and models planned by its French partner, is waiting to get more information from Renault on how likely its intellectual property would be exposed.

California-based Better Place, the company founded by former SAP AG executive Shai Agassi, has teamed up with Renault to build and operate electric-car charging networks and battery-exchanging stations in Denmark and Israel.

Meanwhile, South Korea- based LG has a contract to supply batteries to the French carmaker to cope with demand in excess of the Renault-Nissan alliance's manufacturing capacity. The sources said that it has yet to be determined if any of the Renault partners' designs were actually leaked. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: renault, nissan, design

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