Renault has committed to maintain production of ethanol-fueled ICE powered vehicles in Brazil, where 90% of cars are equipped to run on a mixture of gasoline.
The automaker, one of the early champions of BEV technology, has said its decision recognizes that the Brazilian government will need to rapidly increase its support of BEVs for the technology to make any in-roads into the market, Reuters reports. The automaker is committing up to a $2Bn reais (over $400 million) investment in the country which includes a new vehicle platform to be produced in its Parana state industrial complex, that would allow the company to produce ICE powerplants in the facilities.
Renault did not say when it plans to manufacture BEVs in Brazil noting that the only vehicle it sells in the country, its China-made Kwid model, sold just two vehicles last month. However, it does plan on selling a BEV version of its French-made Kangoo LCV from October, when it will also launch its Kardian ICE powered SUV, set to be manufactured locally.
The head of Renault's Brazil operation, Ricardo Gondo, said: “It still pays to invest in combustion in Brazil,” adding that the industry will need more federal incentives to accelerate its BEV transition. He said: “The combustion engine will continue to see improvements in energy efficiency.”