Renault has many electric vehicles planned within the next few years. In order to get production underway the company will update existing plants for EV production. Additionally, the company must develop supporting technologies for the vehicles and train employees in this new electric field. All of the tasks ahead for Renault in preparation for EVs will certainly cost a lot of money. So Renault has turned to the French government.Renault asked for and was awarded a $140 million loan from the French government. The loan only offsets a small portion of the anticipated costs, but something is more than nothing. In total, Renault estimates that along with partner Nissan, spending for electric vehicle technology and converting plants will run around $5.6 billion.
Both Nissan and Renault have high expectations for the success of EVs. The companies will combine to bring 4 electric vehicles to the market by 2012. They also believe that EVs will constitute 10% of the total market by 2020.
The loans from the French government do carry interest and will have to be repaid, but any money is welcomed and needed as the two companies begin the launch of several ground breaking vehicles.