22 Mar 24

Renault and Volvo forge alliance for new-generation eLCVs

Renault EZ Flex

The Renault Group and the Volvo Group have officially established their previously announced joint venture, Flexis. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in the development of a new generation of electric vans, aiming to commence production by 2026.

Flexis leverages the considerable expertise of the Renault Group, one of Europe's leaders in the light commercial vehicle market, and the Volvo Group, known for its dominance in the truck sector.

The latter ventures into new territory, as this synergy aims for the electric van market, focusing on smart capabilities and the integration of a software-based 800-volt platform designed for modularity across various body types, enhancing safety and reducing costs.

The concept behind these vans is poised to rethink the sector with a new family of software-defined vehicles. Boasting multiple battery sizes, these will cater to a wide range of uses, driven by the aim to significantly reduce the global utilization costs for logistics companies by 30%.

Like a (well-funded) startup

Enhanced connectivity features are expected to monitor delivery activities and business performance meticulously, offering customer vehicles that remain up-to-date throughout their lifespan.

According to both parent companies, Flexis represents a strategic move and addresses the anticipated tripling of the European market for electrified vans by 2030.

Operating with the agility of a start-up while harnessing the vast resources and industrial presence of its shareholders, Flexis aims to lead in research and development in electric platform technology.

For Renault, this industrial alliance is a scaling platform for the pilot tests it runs today with a dozen FlexEVans, a last-mile delivery prototype (pictured above) in two-year trial use at selected customers. “Renault Group intends to be a leader in this (eLCV) transformation,” Renault CEO Luca de Leo commented, “while ensuring a robust and effective value creation.”

The Volvo Group, which owns Renault Trucks, will contribute its vast network of logistics providers, global service network, and operational productivity services. “We see a growing demand for clean, efficient, and safe urban transportation. Partnership and collaboration are key to achieving this”, concluded Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of the Volvo Group.

Image Source: Renault

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Authored by: Piet Andries