German-based DHL Automotive has been named in a three-year deal as the logistics partner of Renault SA for battery distribution effective September 1. Renault, a French automaker, is aiming to be the No. 1 seller of electric vehicles in Europe. In the agreement, DHL will organize storage and distribution of lithium ion batteries replacement for the dealers of Renault.
Pascal Kemps, the German company’s international strategy director for automotive, disclosed that the launch of the EVs to the mass market brought new logistics challenges, like training staff and utilizing specialized equipment.
He added that Renault has chosen DHL because the German company could provide a pioneering pan-European solution in the field of specialized logistics, which is highly demanding, for the manufacturing and the aftermarket needs of green vehicles.
The company will follow Renault as it expands into new markets with the electric vehicles, Kemps told the Automotive News Europe Congress in Germany on Thursday. The Bonneuil facility of DHL near Paris will become the central warehouse for the distribution of batteries for Renault EVs.
The agreement does not include battery logistics for Renault's alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. Currently, Renault is launching two electric vehicles: the Kangoo small van and the Fluence sedan.
Its compact urban vehicle Zoe and the two-seater Twizy are due to follow in 2012. DHL Automotive has 200 vehicle facilities around the world, covering inbound logistics to assembly factories, in-plant and production logistics, and the aftermarket. Its customers include Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG, and Ford Motor Co.