The electric vehicles that Renault offers today are having a bit of difficulty attracting customers. Maybe 180 miles of range could make prospective car buyers shed their anxiety. That's what Renault and LG Chem might one day find out, since the two giants signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week to co-develop battery technology for long-range EVs.
While there was no talk about the exact single-charge range figure the companies are targeting, the implication was that the collaboration would be geared to double the typical battery's distance, which today sits at a little under 100 miles for most EVs. LG Chem is the world's largest maker of batteries used in those EVs, Business Korea reports. Renault can use all the help it can get, since the French automaker will delay the first sales of its electric Twingo because of lower-than-expected demand.
LG Chem started making Chevrolet Volt batteries at its Michigan factory last summer after a long delay getting its US factory up and running due to initially slow early sales for the Chevy PHEV, so long that LG Chem was paying workers to be idle in Michigan while shipping battery packs over from South Korea. The situation forced LG Chem to repay $842,000 of a federal stimulus grant that had been spent on idle worker payroll.