With the advent rise in pollution and traffic around the globe, automobile manufacturers have diverted focus towards building greener and cleaner alternatives. Renault Nissan, is one such manufacturer who believes electric cars are the future of the automotive economy and is, thus, expanding its research and development efforts to India.
At the Paris Motor Show, Renault’s global CEO Carlos Ghosn in conversation with ET said that the company believed that the United States would lead the development of electric cars. But, the change is happening in China due to demand from consumers, aggressive play by part manufacturers and support from the Chinese government.
The Chinese market is booming, and we are losing our leadership to a number of local players who are coming out with cheap electric cars. So we are working towards bringing in our own affordable electric cars for the Chinese market to make sure we don’t end up being overwhelmed with what’s coming in,
said Ghosn during the chat.
The Renault-Nissan alliance has already committed €4 billion (around $5.2 billion) into its electric vehicle and battery development programs, but is now expanding its efforts to compete with rival manufacturers. Renault doesn’t see India as the target market for its electric vehicles as of yet, but is now planning to direct the research and development center in Chennai towards the progress of the affordable electric project. It will utilise the personnel and resources at the development center for rapid expansion of this project.
Electric car is going to be part of the future of our industry. We will develop low-cost electric cars based on knowledge coming out of India, but deploy it in China, because that is where the market exists. Government support is very important and the Chinese government is very keen on driving electrification of cars. In India, there is not much support for electric car.
says Ghosn in a statement.
And there is no possibility of talks about the future of mobility ending on just electric cars, there is sure to be some jibber-jabber about self-driving autonomous vehicles. With respect to the same, Ghosn added that all automobile manufacturers are working towards a scalable solution but it’ll still take about 3-4 years to see substantial progress. Some tech/automobile companies have been working on their autonomous tech for a couple of years and have already started testing the same on roads and amongst the general populous.
He’s, however, still weary of the deployement of the technology in emerging markets, such as India or Brazil, and goes on to add that,
You need to have drivers respecting the rules. Autonomous car is going to stop at the red light -would a user in Mumbai or Rio De Janerio stop? It will be first seen in disciplined driving counties like US, Japan and Europe before one starts expecting it in emerging markets.
For emerging markets, Renault is currently focusing on expanding the scope of its trendy budget offering ‘Kwid’ which has gained immense popularity in the country. Due to a broken traffic system and the absence of appropriate laws, the company is not keen on expanding the electric car and self-driving projects to India.