Renault Might Manufacture Electric Vehicles in China image

Renault said it considers manufacturing electric cars in China, part of the $1.2 billion JV which will offer the automaker increased access to the biggest auto market in the world.

Renault CEO Carlos Tavares said that the automaker got approval from China’s environment ministry to create the JV with Dongfeng Motor, and the plan includes a green-vehicle component. The planned 7.2-billion yuan JVwill have an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually, including passenger, SUV and multipurpose vehicles at the plant located in Wuhan.

“It was for us a competitive advantage and very nice coincidence that the Chinese authorities request that we bring EV technology to the JV we have with Dongfeng,” Mr. Tavares said.

Renault is the only automaker in the world which has four electric cars on sale: the Fluence, Kangoo, Twizy and Zoe. The automaker has to decide which model it will bring to China. Last year the French automaker sold 29,724 vehicles in China, an increase of 22% compared with 2011, but still behind the 440,000 units sold by rival PSA Peugeot Citroen and GM’s 2.84 million units.

Tavares also said that Renault considers selling its electric cars in India, only if the government will offer incentives and the necessary infrastructure, including battery-charging points.