Renault has outlined plans to turn three of its factories in northern France into the largest electric vehicle production hub in Europe, producing up to 400,000 vehicles a year.
The French firm will establish a new legal entity, named Renault ElectriCity, that will encompass its plants in Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz. The three sites will produce Renault’s forthcoming electric passenger vehicles, including the Mégane E-Vision and 5 EV, along with electric commercial vehicles and EV components.
Renault has previously confirmed that it plans to make the reborn 5 EV and Mégane E-Vision at its long-running Douai facility, which opened in 1970 and was the site for production of the original 5. The firm says another C-segment electric vehicle based on the CMF-EV platform used for the Mégane E-Vision will also be produced at the site and it has hinted at other vehicles based on the EV city car platform that will underpin the 5 EV.
The Maubeuge facility has been used to produce Renault commercial vehicles since 1980 and is currently home to the Kangoo van and the badge-engineered Mercedes-Benz Citan. The next-generation electric Kangoo E-Tech Electric, next-gen Citan and related Nissan NV200 will all be built at the facility. Renault said “other variants” of the next-gen Kangoo will be built at the plant alongside the EVs.
Renault’s Ruitz plant, which currently manufactures gearboxes, will in future be used to produce electrical components.
Renault says the ElectriCity scheme will create 700 new jobs by 2024 – 350 at Maubeuge, with the rest split between Douai and Ruitz – and the firm will establish a university and training centre to teach the new skills required for EV production.
The production plans do not include making any batteries. Renault bosses have previously called for the French government to support a battery gigafactory, which, they hinted, was key to encourage EV production in the country.