It has been reported by Renault UK's fleet director, that the French automaker will be producing electric variants of three of its products, and he says that, in consideration of government aid, all will come with the same price tags as their diesel counterparts.
The Kangoo, which is set to be launched in 2011 will come with an EV van and car models, but the first of the company's EVs will be patterned after the Megane saloon, and also coming out in 2011.
The company explains that the EV version will be priced at £20,000, £5,000 higher than its diesel counterpart, but with the £5,000 Electric Vehicle incentive from the government this will cut the price of the EV variant down to a price equal to the diesel equivalent.
The Renault EV will have a 100 mile range upon release. The batteries of the Renault EV can be charged via regular outlet in homes or work places or, even more convenient, by battery transfer.
Currently in the works are drop-in stations where EV users can exchange their fully-discharged batteries with fully-charged units.
Renault says that the batteries will be exchanged automatically in the drop-in bay in under five minutes. Furthermore, users will not be required to have contracts with Renault for this service but rather with third-party energy providers.
The carmaker is expecting that by 2015 15 percent of its worldwide sales will be brought in by their electric vehicles, as it sees the European EV market broadening to tens of thousand of vehicles by the time the EV Megane hits the market in 2014 with 300,000 models. Renault is reportedly saying that, like Toyota Prius is for hybrids, it wants to be the effective choice when it comes to EVs.
Although Renault is not yet selling in the US, it has an ally who does Nissan. The Infiniti luxury brand of Nissan has been seen making some aggressive moves in upping its electric ambitions and with partner Renault's intense electric effort in Europe, this may help Nissan reach its goals for the US market.