Renault pilots series production of the first Renault 5 EVs
Renault gives a glimpse into the series producing its next-generation EV model. The Renault 5 is on a prototype production run in a “secret and high-tech miniature plant”. Not too secret, though; the plant is part of the brand’s Technocentre engineering complex near Paris.
Created 25 years ago, the Global Production Engineering Center serves Renault as a prototype facility for both the vehicles and the manufacturing and assembly processes. The company is working on the first all-electric Renault 5 vehicles here to ready the model and the machines for series production at the Douai plant in northern France next year.
Before that, prototypes need to be produced at the Prototype Build Centre. Renault calls these first versions “mules”. These “technical representatives of the future production version” have been manufactured since October 2021, and the mules for the Renault 5 currently come camouflaged in a Clio-like silhouette. So far, there are 60 out there. Since March this year, the mules already carry the battery and drive that will make it into the Renault 5. The vehicles also went to Lapland as part of the development and testing process for the new full-electric CMF-B EV platform. Although Renault calls the CMF-B EV its platform for small electric cars in the B segment, it is based on the combustion engine platform of the ‘Common Module Family’ (CMF) for the B segment – the CMF-B, in other words. In concrete terms, 70 per cent of the components are to be identical, for example, in the chassis or the assistance systems and infotainment. This is primarily intended to reduce costs.
Still, it is a new electric car to come out, and more testing must be done. Next, camouflaged prototypes will hit European roads before Renault engineers make the final adjustments. This also fits with recent prototype sightings: The Renault 5 with standard bodywork was spy-shot during test drives. With its camouflaged body and black steel rims, the vehicle looks different from the study with its yellow paint and large aluminium rims, even if many elements of the concept have made it into the design.
The series production now being prepared requires similar fine-tuning and testing. Renault says the prototyping at the Technocentre acts as a “bridge between product design and large-scale production, providing an opportunity to turn preliminary hypotheses and numerical data into tangible solutions that can be tested and validated”.
The all-electric Renault 5 will reportedly be the first EV under the French brand with a bidirectional charger. The V2G service will be available in France and Germany in 2024 and the UK in 2025.