PARIS -- Renault today signed a partnership deal to build electric cars for French billionaire Vincent Bollore's car-share programs.
The companies will also carry out a feasibility study for Renault to develop and build a new three-seater electric vehicle equipped with Bollore's batteries to be sold to consumers, companies and municipalities.
Under the agreement Renault will build Bluecar electric vehicles at its Dieppe plant in northwest France for the Bollore Group's car-sharing program. The factory builds the Clio high-performance R.S. suncompact hatchback and is set to build an Alpine sports car scheduled for launch in 2016.
Until now, Bollore's Bluecars were built in Italy under a joint venture with designer and contract manufacturer Pininfarina.
The companies will also set up a joint venture, 70 percent owned by Bollore and 30 percent by Renault, to provide car-sharing services in France and elsewhere in Europe.
Renault said Bollore will offer the Renault Zoe and Twizy EVs in its carsharing networks. Renault EVs will be gradually integrated into Bollore's car-sharing fleet to reach a proportion of 30 percent as quickly as possible, the automaker said.
Bollore's Bluecars can travel about 241km (150 miles) per charge. The company's Autolib car sharing service is offered in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux and will launch in London by 2016.
Bollore also is investing $35 million to set up its first U.S. operation in Indianapolis, Indiana, where it began construction in April on a network of 25 vehicle distribution kiosks and as many as 1,000 public charging stations. Once Indianapolis is up and running, Bollore hopes to set up similar public fleets in other cities around the U.S.
Bollore also wants to expand the service to China.
Renault said total production of Bollore cars built at the Dieppe and Italy sites is expected total 2,500 units in 2015. Neither Renault nor Bollore specified production numbers after 2015.
Renault delivered 19,093 electric autos last year out of a total of 2.63 million cars and light commercial vehicles.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report