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Renault Samsung to Make Electric Cars From 2011

Posted May. 16, 2009 21:23,   


Renault Samsung Motors plans mass production of electric cars from 2011 in a first for Korean carmakers.

According to the company`s "Strategy and Suppliers’ Network" report exclusively obtained by The Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, the carmaker will conduct trial programs to produce electric cars such as "Eco Town" and "Green Village" next year.

Mass production of medium-sized electric cars will begin at the company`s factories in Busan from October 2011.

Along with the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group’s plan to sell hybrid cars from the latter half of this year, Renault Samsung`s mass production of electric cars will help Korea’s auto industry join the global trend of making environment-friendly vehicles.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Motor announced plans to sell electric cars from July. General Motors, Renault, Nissan and Toyota will also release electric cars between next year and 2011.

Though Renault Samsung will cooperate with its French headquarters to produce electric cars, it will take the lead in the project. Its electric cars will be supported by the technologies of the Renault-Nissan Alliance but core parts such as batteries, motors and controllers will be provided by Korean suppliers.

Renault Samsung is also considering measures to cooperate with large Korean corporations such as SK Energy and LG Chem to develop batteries.

To develop electric cars, the carmaker will ask the Korean government to provide tax benefits for electric cars, supply R&D subsidies, expand infrastructure such as charging stations, and require public agencies to buy electric cars.

Automotive experts predict that cars with internal combustion engines will be replaced by hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, and eventually by hydrogen fuel cell or electric cars.

On its plan to develop electric cars, Hyundai-Kia said, “We could develop electric cars to be displayed at motor shows, but we emphasize hybrid, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars that for commercial use.”