It's no secret that the Renault-Nissan alliance wants to dominate the electric vehicle industry, but capturing an emerging market will take some carefully crated plans. Nissan's approach is well-known: offer up a five-passenger, family-oriented, compact EV at an affordable price, call it the Leaf and market the hell out of it until it catches on. Renault's approach is decidedly different and relies upon the combined success of several models, each of which is targeted at different buyers.
Renault will offer the Fluence Z.E., an electrified version of its compact family sedan, to the public early next year. The Fluence is expected to capture the attention of fleet owners and will likely see heavy use in the taxi industry. Then there's the Kangoo Z.E. Renault will build the electrified Kangoo in France in 2011 and eyes its as an urban runabout that will likely see use in the commercial sector. Next up is the Zoe Z.E., an electric city car scheduled for production in 2012 and aimed at urban dwellers who seek reduced operating costs and routinely travel short distances. Renault expects the Zoe Z.E. to be the company's best-selling EV, perhaps tallying as much as 150,000 sales per year by 2016. So, whether it's with one car or by the combined impact of a range of vehicles, Renault-Nissan is determined to do whatever it takes to conquer the EV market and head off all competitors before it's too late. Think it'll work?