Renault to cut EV production costs
The French firm is putting its faith in digital and AI tools
Vehicle development times will be cut from three to two years, partly by using its industrial Metaverse — a digital platform that the firm uses to collect and share information about its operations.
In 2023, the Metaverse has generated savings of €270mn ($291mn) for the group, primarily through the deployment of predictive maintenance on installations.
By expanding the Metaverse more widely across its supply chain and workforce, Renault says it can cut vehicle delivery times by 60pc and the carbon footprint of vehicle production by half.
"This industrial transformation will make our base more agile, more virtuous and more competitive, while also enabling us to respond more quickly to customer expectations," says Thierry Charvet, chief industry & quality officer at Renault Group.
Renault will also deploy a wide array of AI applications to cut production times in its power electronics, battery assembly and electric motor divisions. And it is implementing a predictive approach to energy consumption using AI tools, aimed at reducing the energy required by industrial sites by 20pc.
Renault has set a target to produce 400,000 EVs annually by 2025 at three production sites it is converting in North France – at Douai, Maubeuge, and Ruitz – supported by the Cleon site near Rouen, which supplies the engines of its Megane E-tech Electric.
And it also aims to be net zero carbon by 2025 for those four sites, by 2030 for all its locations in Europe, and by 2050 for all industrial sites worldwide.
The Metaverse plan will also be rolled out to Renault's ICE vehicle manufacturing facilities with the aim of cutting production costs for those vehicles by 30pc on current levels.
Renault's current EV range includes the Megane E-tech and the Kangoo and Master E-tech vans. with the Zoe and Twingo E-tech Electric BEV cares having been discontinued.
The Megane E-tech was responsible for around 54pc of Renault's EV sales in the first three quarters of this year, with c.64,854 units sold.
In the coming year, Renault will launch BEV versions of the Scenic and the Renault 5.
Last month the firm outlined details of its new EV unit Ampere, a standalone company that will design, engineer, manufacture and market EVs under the Renault brand in Europe.
Renault is considering an IPO of Ampere when market conditions are right.