With the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars set to end in the UK in 2030 (and hybrids following five years later), it’s natural to assume that the market for internal combustion-powered cars will drop off the proverbial cliff.
This seems even more likely when you consider that the European Union – along with the US state of California – are pursuing similar targets.
In Renault’s view, though, it’s far too early to give up on the internal combustion engine. In fact, the French manufacturer has decided to double down on its investment in petrol power.
Although our country’s roads will likely be dominated by EVs in a decade’s time, this won’t be the case for many other countries.
Most of the US, as well as economic giants like China and Japan, are yet to commit to any concrete restrictions on the sale of new ICE vehicles – so the global market for them isn’t expected to go anywhere just yet.
Renault has put its money where its mouth is by partnering with Chinese manufacturer Geely to establish new powertrain production facilities and R&D centres – all with the sole focus of developing and building internal combustion engines.
Ownership of the joint venture will be split 50/50 between the two companies.
In an interview with CNBC’s Charlotte Reed, Renault’s Chief Financial Officer Thierry Pieton explained: “In our view, and according to all the studies that we’ve got, there is no scenario where ICE and hybrid engines represent less than 40% of the market with a horizon of 2040. So, it’s actually a market that’s going to continue to grow.”
Despite doubling down on ICE investment, Renault isn’t turning its back on electric power. Quite the opposite, in fact; it has another joint venture with Geely called Ampere, which will focus solely on the development and production of fully electric passenger cars.
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