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Renault announces partners for open-source electric-vehicle platform

Partner OSVehicle makes the Tabby EV base.

In 2014, Tesla Motors notably said it would open up all of its patents, effectively open-sourcing its electric-vehicle technology and making company chief Elon Musk the darling of tech-heads everywhere. More than two years later, France-based Renault appears to be doing the same thing for its stable of lightweight electric vehicles, Treehugger says. The technology is based on the Renault Twizy. Not exactly Model S material, but still.

Renault is partnering with OSVehicle and ARM in releasing what the companies say is the first open-sourced platform involving a mass-market automaker. That means third parties will be able to tap into Renault's POM platform to build their own electric vehicles. The rear-wheel-drive drivetrain technology enables the vehicle to have a single-charge range of as far as 62 miles and offers two top-speed options: 28 miles per hour and 50 mph. OSVehicle has posted a five-minute-long video on the technology here.

OSVehicle (the initials stand for "open source," of course) first made news in these pages in 2014 by unveiling its Tabby and Urban Tabby EV models, which the company said could be built by rather adventurous do-it-yourselfers in about an hour. Customers can buy variants of the Tabby EVO for anywhere between about $12,500 and $20,000.

Inside EVs, which has been tracking electric-vehicle sales in Europe, said late last month that sales of the Twizy in November, the most recent month tracked, rose 20 percent from a year earlier. That said, Twizy remains a low-volume seller, as only 187 were sold that month. By comparison, Renault sold almost 1,500 units of the Zoe electric vehicle in November.

CES 2017 Renault POM with OSVehicle & ARM from OSVehicle on Vimeo.

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