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Renault And Volvo Partner To Launch The ‘Tesla Of Vans’

  • Flexis will build electric commercial vehicles for the world at a Renault plant in France.
  • Both Renault and Volvo Group have 45 percent stakes in Flexis, while a French freight company controls the remaining 10 percent.
  • Flexis will “completely transform” our understanding of vans, and will be the “Tesla of commercial vehicles,” according to Renault CEO Luca de Meo.

The electric van market in Europe is projected to expand by 40 percent annually until 2030. To seize this opportunity, Renault and Volvo Group, the Swedish truck manufacturer (distinct from the Geely-owned carmaker with the same name), have joined forces with French freight company CMA CGM Group to establish Flexis, which they say will “completely transform” the van industry.

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The new company will start by assembling vehicles at Renault’s Sandouville plant, in France. The vans will be highly modular, and will be based on a fully-electric skateboard platform.

Read: Commercial Vehicles Are Making Ford Van-Loads Of Money Thanks To Software Services

That will allow Flexis to make produce purpose-built vans that help improve efficiency for delivery companies. Renault CEO Luca De Meo told Autocar that’s a big deal in the commercial vehicle space, since every 30 seconds that a logistics firm can save during deliveries improves profitability by 1 percent.

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To help shave time off deliveries, the vans will have lower entry points, to make getting in and out of them easier, and faster. It will also have a pass through to the cargo compartment, so that drivers don’t have to walk all the vehicle to get into the back.

 Renault And Volvo Partner To Launch The ‘Tesla Of Vans’

Additionally, the Flexis software platform, which incorporates learning capabilities regarding logistics companies’ routes and considers factors such as charging breaks, will simplify the onboarding process for new drivers. This is particularly significant considering that, according to Flexis CEO Philippe Divry, industry drivers tend to switch jobs every 12 to 18 months. Streamlining their training process enhances their efficiency more rapidly.

Indeed, de Meo is enthusiastic about Flexis and envisions it as more than just an ordinary van company. “This is akin to the Tesla of commercial vehicles,” he explained, expressing his confidence that the company will revolutionize the perception of vans worldwide.

And he means the whole world, as the skateboard platform and the “Lego-like” bodies that can be put on top of it provide Flexis with a “fantastic opportunity to build out globally,” according to Divry. He is targeting markets like Brazil and North America, in addition to Europe.

To get there, Renault and Volvo, which each own a 45 percent stake in Flexis, will invest €300 million (around US$324,900 at current exchange rates) over the next three years. Although the remaining 10 percent of the company is currently owned by CMA CGM Group, de Meo said the company is looking for additional new partners.

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 Renault And Volvo Partner To Launch The ‘Tesla Of Vans’
Workers in Sandouville, celebrating the completion of their 1,000,000th vehicle.

#Renault #Volvo #Partner #Launch #Tesla #Vans

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