Minister Suggests Renault Could Make Second Electric Car in Spain

If electric vehicle has strong demand, more factories could be built in city of Valladolid.

French automaker Renault could manufacture a second model of electric vehicles at its plants in Valladolid in northern Spain if there is sufficient demand, according to Miguel Sebastian, the Spanish Minister for Industry, Tourism and Commerce.

The company, which is expected to start production of a new small electric car model called the Twizy at Valladolid next year, could also build a new plant in the city to build electric car batteries, he added after holding talks with Renault Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata.

"We discussed the possibility that if the electric vehicle has strong demand a new model that is not the Twizy could be made and the idea of a battery assembly plant in Valladolid," said Sebastian.

In October, Renault announced that it would extend the life of its two plants in Valladolid, located 90 miles northwest of Madrid, with the production of a small electric car in 2011, an ecological motor in 2012, and a traditional vehicle from 2013.

Renault already produces Megane Hatchback, Megane Estate, Modus and Grand Modus models exclusively in Spain.

The company employs around 10,000 people in Spain, Europe's third-largest automaker, mostly at its four factories in the country.

It has an assembly plant and a motor factory in Valladolid, a factory in the nearby town of Palencia and a fourth factory in the southern city of Seville.

Renault has predicted that by 2020 electric cars will make up more than 10% of the market.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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