Renault’s classic 5 reborn as an EV in a new sustainability push

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With the Renault 5 (R5), the automaker is hoping to get the plan off to a strong start by offering a groovy, Mini-like EV. “The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5, a cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive,” said design chief Gilles Vidal.

To that end, it features design touches like front headlights based on the original R5, a hood air intake that hides a charging hatch and a “5” on the side grid, wheels and rear logo. Other than the concept design, Renault didn’t reveal any other technical details. However, it described the R5 as a “city car,” meaning it might have not have a huge battery — much like the Honda E.

Renault

The other interesting vehicles are coming from a new brand called Mobilize. It’s developing four mobility vehicles, including two for car-sharing, one for ride hailing and one for last-mile deliveries. Renault aims to have Mobilize account for 20 percent of group revenues by 2030.

One of the car-sharing models is the ZE-1 Prototype that looks a lot like Citroen’s tiny Ami. The two-seater is designed for shared use, with drivers only paying for what they use in terms of time or mileage. It allows keyless access via a smartphone, while using a battery exchange system so the vehicle can be used “non-stop,” according to Renault. The company added that it would be built with 50 percent recycled materials and be 95 percent recyclable at the end of its life-cycle.

As part of the plan, Renault will establish a key manufacturing “electro pole” base, likely in Northern France, to manufacture its EVs. It also announced a hydrogen joint venture with US-based Plug Power, with the aim of developing light commercial fuel cell vehicles. Finally, Renault said it aims to become a key player in technology in general, including the areas of cyber security, clean energy services and more.

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