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Renault reaffirms electric car commitment, delivers ZOE to partner company Bouygues

Renault delivered a ZOE electric car to a partner company, as a way to reaffirm the company's commitment to electric cars on a day when that commitment may be called into question.

On Monday, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn handed over the keys of a Renault ZOE to Martin Bouygues, Chairman and CEO of Bouygues. The act was more than the sale of an electric car, because it also symbolized the joint effort by the two companies to the environment and a vision of an eco-system which allies electric mobility with sustainable construction.

Renault is one of the leading electric car manufacturers, while Bouygues is a diversified industrial group operating in the construction, media and telecommunications sectors. Together the companies are researching several joint projects, such as optimizing recharging systems for electric vehicles in car parks and the use of old electric vehicle batteries to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

The Renault ZOE is an all electric car built on the Clio platform. As a result it is a smallish car well suited to urban environments. Its' most interesting feature is the fast charging system that will work on a regular 3-phase AC power outlet, and not require an expensive off-board DC charging unit.

That feature would be useful for the research by Bouygues into charging systems for parking lots.

On any other day this announcement would be passed over with little comment. However, this delivery came on the heels of the collapse of Renault partner Better Place. The liquidation of Better Place seems likely to play poorly, because it will cast doubt on the project of electric car adoption. Renault immediately issued a statement reaffirming the commitment of the Renault-Nissan alliance to electric cars. Staging this handover of keys to Bouygues also gives Renault an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to electric cars.