Renault: low-cost hybrid officially announced

Carlos Tavards

Carlos Tavares confirmed that Renault is working on low-cost hybrid motors.

While the information had already been unofficially announced in June 2012 by engineers, Tavares, the second in command at Renault, confirmed that the manufacturer is working on lower cost hybrid motors in the French magazine Usine Nouvelle .

Even though the Zoe, the flagship Renault EV model, is not yet on the road, Renault already seems to be stepping away from earlier statements made by Carlos Ghosn, who stated that the hybrid motor was not the answer: too expensive, too complicated. He also stated that he preferred the electric vehicle route, and that 4 billion Euros had been invested into a Renault-Nissan alliance.

Today, Carlos Tavares said that the hybrid option is “a transitory technology because it doesn’t permit zero (emissions).” He nonetheless confirmed that Renault is continuing its work in the area, “We are watching this technology closely, and we even have a number of research projects that aim to create what we would call ‘low cost’ hybrid motors.”

In June, Renault engineers had explained that the technology they were developing included a small battery, a starter-alternator and a small electric motor. The aim was to install this type of system in small and medium size vehicles, on both gas and diesel motors.

Time will tell if this “super stop and start” motor will eventually see the light of day in production models.

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