Electric car batteries to be 20% cheaper? Renault promises

Luc Williams

Unit Ampere by Renault will integrate lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells into its electric vehicle platform with its current nickel-cobalt-manganese process, the company said in a statement. Ampere will also work with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution on battery systems to extend the vehicles’ range. The company said the new approach will reduce Renault’s costs in supplying batteries for its vehicles from early 2026.

Renault wants to keep up with the competition

Renault’s move to reduce cell production costs is part of a broader effort to improve margins. The cost reduction will help the French carmaker keep up with changes in the industry. Until now, Renault, like other European manufacturers, has used the more expensive NCM chemistry to produce cells.

Renault said it is also working with its partners to strengthen the electric vehicle supply chain in Europe. Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology to supply LFP cells from Hungary. Meanwhile, the Korean company LG to work on cell-to-pack (CTP) technology in Polandwhich uses a system that allows more battery cells to be squeezed into a given space.

Other Ampere partners have facilities in France.

Falling demand and strong competition from China are forcing changes

European carmakers are scrambling to compete with cheap models from China. In May Volkswagen decided to independently develop electric cars priced at €20,000 in Europe, giving up on partnerships.

Earlier this year, Renault abandoned plans for an initial public offering of its Ampere unit after investor appetite cooled due to slowdown in demand for electric vehicles.

Renault and VW held preliminary talks, but Europe’s largest automaker instead announced last week a plan to invest 5 billion euros in a venture with electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive Inc. VW’s deal with Rivian gives it access to advanced battery technology and software.

Automotive Cells, owned by Mercedes, Stellantis and TotalEnergylast month halted two of three projects with a total cost estimated at 7 billion euros. In light of falling demand, companies are considering switching to cheaper cells.


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