Renault 5 E-Tech electric, via RenaultRenault 5 E-Tech electric, via Renault


Luca de Meo warns European car makers can’t flinch from EV challenge posed by China and US

  • Renault Group CEO proclaims ‘no surrender’ over battle of the BEVs
  • Luca de Meo speaks out at launch of new Renault 5 EV in Geneva
  • Co-operate on one side but maintain competition on the other, he says

Time 11:26 am, February 29, 2024

Renault boss Luca de Meo has said European manufacturers can’t give in to the relentless march of Chinese and US EV makers.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, where Renault was launching its retro-styled Renault 5 electric model, the Renault Group CEO told the BBC that European car makers had dropped far behind their American and Chinese counterparts such as Tesla and BYD when it came to EVs.

He highlighted the fact that China had a major edge on mining and refining raw materials, as well as being able to make batteries in huge gigafactories.

The 56-year-old boss was quoted as saying co-operation with Chinese companies – especially regarding battery technology – was needed to close the gap, and it had already begun.

‘Many Chinese battery companies are building gigafactories in Europe. This is the form of co-operation we need to find…You compete on one side, you co-operate on the other.’

But he was sure that Europe would be able to close the gap, adding: ‘I’m there to do that. I’m one of the business leaders in the automotive industry, and we can’t surrender!’

The new Renault 5 will offer either 186 or 249 miles of range depending on which battery is used, says the French company, and at a cost of £25,000 to £30,000 will be tricky to be profitable, it also claims.

But de Meo said it made sense to let people be able to make the switch ‘at an affordable price’.

He commented: ‘I think someone has to take the challenge. There is an opportunity with electric technology to reduce the size of the battery, especially for small cars.

‘The battery is 40% of the cost. If you cut it by half… I think you can do it.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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