Renault: Investing in ICE

Although there is increasing public attention and corporate effort toward alternative powertrains—from the Prius to the Leaf to the Volt, to name but a few—the internal combustion engine (ICE) is far from being a dead end on the way to a more environmentally oriented future.   Renault, which has a considerable electric vehicle (EV) strategy—remember that Renault and Nissan are joined at the hip, and while Nissan is preparing the Lead for the U.S. and other markets, Renault is similarly rolling out its own EV program throughout Europe—opened a €60-million building at its Pôle d’Innovation Mécanique (PIM) powertrain innovation center in Landry, France.

Although there is increasing public attention and corporate effort toward alternative powertrains—from the Prius to the Leaf to the Volt, to name but a few—the internal combustion engine (ICE) is far from being a dead end on the way to a more environmentally oriented future.

 

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Renault, which has a considerable electric vehicle (EV) strategy—remember that Renault and Nissan are joined at the hip, and while Nissan is preparing the Lead for the U.S. and other markets, Renault is similarly rolling out its own EV program throughout Europe—opened a €60-million building at its Pôle d’Innovation Mécanique (PIM) powertrain innovation center in Landry, France.

While there is work on EV systems at the PIM, the new facility is focused on the internal combustion engine, whether it runs on gasoline, diesel, or alcohol. And underlying objective is to make Renault the leader in low-carbon vehicles, which, consequently, would mean meeting Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions standards.

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One means by which they’re working to accomplish this is through developing downsized, turbocharged engines.

There are more than 200 test benches at the site, including “aerothermal” benches, which allow engineers to test engines in their aerodynamic environment, accounting for the thermal exchanges that take place in the vehicle. These benches are said to be a world’s first.

And yes, there are extensive numerical simulation resources (a.k.a., CAE) on site in Landry.