ElectriCity: An Ambitious Goal
Carbon neutrality, a sustainable ecosystem, and the largest competitive electric vehicle production hub are the three driving ambitions behind Renault Group’s ElectriCity.
ElectriCity will bring the company’s three factories in Douai, Maubeuge, and Ruitz (North of France) together, as part of the Renaulution Plan (first unveiled in early 2021), to make electric vehicles (EVs) widely accessible, and reach an annual output of over 400,00 EVs by 2025.
The new hub is set to become the largest and most competitive production centre in Europe, by optimising its industrial processes for greater operational efficiency and putting together an entire ecosystem to reduce many fixed costs.
ElectriCity will serve as a benchmark for Renault Group when it comes to quality manufacturing and a heightened competitive edge.
Transformation at the Douai Factory
Operating for 50 years, producing over 10 million iconic vehicles, the Douai factory has transformed and adapted to the world and people’s needs.
As early as 2022, the factory will harness the modular CMF-EV platform dedicated to the production of EVs to produce the Megane E-TECH Electric; recently unveiled at IAA Mobility 2021.
Shifting its production from ICE to EVs, Renault’s workshops and production lines have been modified, transformed and modernised. “To incorporate electric vehicles in our processes, we invested more than €550 million to transform the Douai factory. We also improved workstation ergonomics,” said Luciano Biondo, Director of Renault Group ElectriCity. The assembly line at Douai reflects Alliance standards and is flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of vehicle production. The Megane E-TECH Electric will be exclusively produced at Douai.
A Fully Connected World
At Douai, Renault Group has adopted automated carts to transport thousands of sorted parts, delivered to the car on the production line at the right time. The factory also features a new battery assembly workshop where each employee is trained and experienced in EV production, preparing each battery to be sent to a docking facility for direct mounting into the vehicles.
In addition, Renault Group has adopted robots and automation to be used in the body shop for greater modularity and flexibility, as well as the paint shop also revamped with a modified e-coating tank, new resin injector robots, and a new finish line.
“As part of the overall transformation, many workstations have also been re-designed, changed, and modernized to ensure the best ergonomics and quality of manufacturing. Cars move on individual trays to avoid operator movements, production lines are ergonomically designed and can be adapted to the different heights of each operator, to their workstation, and specific constraints of mounting processes,” explained Renaut Group.
“We strive for quality with each vehicle, at every stage of the manufacturing process and all thanks to the involvement of each employee. This is our promise to customers, and it is brought to life through the new generation of electric cars,” added Luciano Biondo, Director of Renault Group Electricity.
Responding to new environmental challenges, and to be more competitive and efficient, Renault Group is revolutionising its battery production and mounting.
With its strategic partnership with Envision AESC, Renault Group will be creating a gigafactory at the Douai factory and will provide batteries for future EV models. The new features provide Renault Group with multiple benefits: a very low CO2 footprint for transport, optimised fixed costs, and more responsive processes for customer demand.