Tuesday 27 September 2016

Renault hints at 'imminent plans' for new hybrid models

Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30

Renault believe they have the electric know-how from a lot of their current cars such as the Zoe. Photo: AP
Renault believe they have the electric know-how from a lot of their current cars such as the Zoe. Photo: AP

RENAULT has a big number of hybrids and plug-ins coming down the line.

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The company, conspicuous by its absence from the hybrid market to date, isn't that far off introducing several models, a senior executive told Independent Motors.

He wouldn't give a specific time-frame but suggested it wouldn't be that long before we begin to see the first models.

Renault believe they have the electric know-how from a lot of their current cars such as the Zoe. And they have the petrol knowledge from their mainstream fleet.

In addition, they have Mitsubishi coming into the 'family' now with their up-to-date expertise of plug-in electric vehicles, best demonstrated with their Outlander PHEV.

So the answer was a resounding yes when I asked Jean-Christophe Kugler, Renault's executive vice-president in Europe, if they had imminent plans for hybrids.

All companies are looking to reduce their emissions with the relentless advent of more stringent regulations over the coming years.

Renault is no different in that respect and it was interesting to hear Mr Kugler say how important it was not just to have hybrids but to have "plenty of them".

He was also upfront about the challenge facing diesel in the continuous tightening of emissions legislation across Europe in particular.

While claiming - as you would expect him to - that the Alliance (Nissan and Renault) is more advanced than many rivals on diesel technology, he did admit the power source would have to become ever more refined as the years roll by.

The underlying threat to diesel is expensive engine technology that will improve on current emission figures.

Many of those figures were thought to be nigh impossible a decade ago.

Now most of them are mere starting points that have to be radically reduced again and again.

Irish Independent

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