(ETX Daily Up) – By joining forces with retrofit specialist Phoenix Mobility, Renault has decided to launch a program from 2023 that aims to electrify 1,000 vans at its Re-Factory in Flins.
The idea of this collaboration is to install an electrical conversion kit on a thousand light commercial vehicles over 5 years old. This is the first collaboration between a French car manufacturer and a start-up specializing in retrofitting.
These kits will be assembled by Renault from 2023 at its site in Flins, in the Yvelines, dedicated to the circular economy. Phoenix Mobility will be responsible for the commercial exploitation of the kit. The aim is to demonstrate all the benefits of the retrofit approach, from respect for the environment to the savings made and the comfort of electric driving, and extend this to more models.
As a reminder, the plant in Flins has gradually switched to a used vehicle reconditioning activity and will soon also be dedicated to the recycling of electric batteries and spare parts.
The retrofit consists of converting a thermal vehicle (petrol or diesel) to electric by installing a conversion kit and special batteries. After transformation, these vehicles will receive a Crit’Air 0 sticker, which will allow them to circulate absolutely anywhere, including within the new restricted areas. This practice, which has only been legal since 2020, is still confidential, with only a few dozen passenger cars in France. However, all thermal models older than 5 years are eligible, cars of course, but also commercial vehicles, trucks or buses.
In addition to Renault, other manufacturers are also starting to take an interest in retrofits, such as Mini, which has opened a new department in Oxford dedicated to the electrification of the brand’s old vehicles. So the idea is to be able to continue to enjoy its classic Mini, but with a more modern engine that takes more account of the environment.
(Photo credits: Courtesy of Renault Group Renault Re-Factory Flins)