Electric cars, courtesy EdF

09 October 2008

Electricité de France (EdF) has signed two separate agreements with car manufacturers to support the widespread development and use of zero-emissions electric vehicles.


The French energy group has signed a cooperative agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroën to cover technological programs including development of business models to drive the commercial development of electric vehicles, energy storage technologies such as lithium-ion batteries, and vehicle recharging systems and protocols. At the same time, it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Renault with the objective of establishing electric cars as a "viable and attractive transport solution for consumers."


The Renault agreement will see EdF working with the Renault Nissan Alliance to jointly develop a commercial project leading to the establishment of an Electric Mobility Operator to supply consumers with the infrastructure to recharge an electric vehicle and manage its range. The Renault Nissan Alliance plans to provide consumers with "zero emission mobility" from 2011, and will need the infrastructure in place in time for its launch. France, as well as other countries and states with which it has similar partnerships (Israel, Denmark, Portugal, the US state of Tennessee and Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan), will be among the first global markets to receive such all-electric models.


Meanwhile, PSA Peugeot Citroen says the development of plug-in and other hybrids is an integral part of its strategic commitment to offering "everyone an eco-car". EdF claims its fleet of 1500 electric vehicles is the world's largest, and says it has acquired extensive technological expertise and experience in power storage, recharging infrastructure and plug-in vehicle trials. It is currently working on a new generation of innovative recharging stations.


According to EdF chairman and CEO Pierre Gadonneix, both collaborations will contribute to the emergence of electric-powered transportation, reconciling transport needs with the challenges of emissions control. Pointing out EdF's credentials as one of the world's lowest CO2-emitting energy providers, he described the Renault collaboration as paving the way for a new generation of "clean, competitive and ecologically virtuous" vehicles.