Renault Partners with Billionaire Vincent Bollore on EV Production

French carmaker Renault hasn't had the best luck with electric vehicles, recently announcing the end of the ill-fated Fluence Z.E. sedan project due to lack of demand. However, today they announced a new partnership with French billionaire Vincent Bollore to make EVs.
Bollore Bluecar 1 photo
Photo: Bollore
Under the deal, Renault will build Bollore's Bluecar at its factory in Dieppe in northwest France starting with the second half of 2015. Dieppe specializes in small volume models, like the Clio RS, and is scheduled to assemble the new Alpine sportscar in 2016.

Renault's own small EV, the Zoe, is made at a different factory in Flins. That's because Flins also assembles the majority of Mk4 Clios, which share the Zoe's platform.

The two parties involved have also set up a joint venture. The Renault group will hold a 30% interest in the joint-venture, while the Bollore group will own 70%. As part of their agreement, the Twizy electric quad will be offered to customers using car-sharing networks in Lyon (Bluely) and Bordeaux (Bluecub) starting with the second half of 2014.

Who is Vincent Bollore?

According to Forbes, Bollore is the 157th richest man in the worlds and the 9th richest in France. He's worth $8.4 million (€6.46M), lives in Paris and has four children. By no means an upstart, this 62-year old businessman is the CEO of a holding company founded way back in 1822.

Last year, blue Solutions, a manufacturer of lithium-metal-polymer car batteries, went public, nearly doubling in value over the course of 2014. These batteries power the Bollore Bluecar (pictured above), which is part of an electric mobility sharing scheme.

back in March, the French millionaire announced a $166 million (€127M) investment in Source London, started by the British capital's mayor Mayor Boris Johnson.

What's a Bluecar?

The Bollore Bluecar was designed by Pininfarina studios in Turin and are currently produced by Cecomp. These cars are small, measuring just 3.65 meters in length, 1.7 meters wide and 1.61 meters in height. Thanks to a 50 kW (68 hp) electric motor, it's capable of reaching 60 km/h in only 6.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 130 km/h.

The Bluecars are used as part of the Autolib electric car sharing scheme. The company is starting a similar scheme in Indianapolis, with plans to expand into the lucrative California green mobility market.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories