As part of its proactive electric vehicle strategy, Renault has opened an electric test centre in Lardy, France that will focus on development of new electric technologies.
The French automaker already invested E28m todate in the centre, which has been operational since 2009. The centre spans two buildings and around 100 test benches over a surface area of 3,300 sq. metres.
The centre, which houses most of the test facilities for electric motors and batteries, has run a comprehensive test programme for the development and validation of the performance, reliability and safety of the electric powerplants fitted to vehicles in the ZE range.
Renault has conducted extensive tests at the Lardy centre for its Kangoo ZE and Fluence ZE brands that were launched recently. These tests covered the performance, safety and durability of the new components: the electric motor, power electronics unit and battery.
The Lardy centre runs a series of 15 different tests on the lithium-ion traction batteries, simulating the most extreme conditions (abuse tests). Renault has been gradually expanding the Lardy centre since last three years.
Jacques Prost, senior vice president of powertrain engineering at Renault, said: “The Lardy test centre is supporting Renault’s move into the electric vehicle market – now a concrete reality after the launch of our first electric vehicle, Kangoo ZE.
“Our goal was to sell vehicles that are reliable, powerful and 100 percent safe. Lardy has helped us to achieve that goal thanks to 170,000 hours of testing in 2011. Investing in this centre will enable us to pursue and support new developments in electric powerplant technology and make Renault the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles in Europe.”
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