Fast-evolving EV market means buyers now want hot versions, says Renault

3 years ago - 6 March 2020, autocar
French manufacturer will host focus groups this year to determine what buyers want from a performance EV

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming so mainstream that consumers now expect makers to "tick all the boxes", such as offering hot variants, according to Renault EV boss Gilles Normand.

While there are no official plans yet for an RS-badged EV, the French manufacturer is evaluating the requirements of a performance EV and planning focus groups to find out where demand is.

Normand said a hot EV is likely to have less range than a standard one, and that there's also a question over the lack of engine sound in a go-faster EV.

He said: "Historically, performance cars have less range than a normal car, so people will be ready for less driving range, but how much less is a discussion we're in now.

"People are also a little worried that there is no noise. If we go for a performance car with EVs, we came to the conclusion that we have to generate a nice noise artificially."

Renault product planning boss Ali Kassaï has previously told Autocar that the firm wanted to lead the way with hot EVs.

"[The timeframe] has to be short [to launch a hot EV]," he said, "because we were the leader in EVs, so we need to keep up the pace. I hope [to see one] in three years.

"We have been thinking about this for a long time. It will happen the day when the technology road blocks are removed. This means high performance but also sustainability of performance and making economic sense."