Answering a deputy’s question in the National Assembly, Besson said 80% of Renault’s electric cars will be produced in France.
Renault and Nissan are jointly investing 4 billion euros ($5.8 billion) in electric vehicle technology as they scramble to take the lead on a technology that Carlos Ghosn, who heads both companies, has said could account for 10 percent of new car sales by 2020.
The French automaker is due to introduce electric versions of the Kangoo multipurpose vehicle and the Fluence sedan in the autumn, while the tiny two-seater Twizy will go on sale later in the year. Production of the Zoe small electric car will start at Flins as planned in the second half of 2012.
Renault recently disclosed it is delaying a planned facility making batteries for electric vehicles, citing a technical adjustment to reformat the project without state financing.
Besson said the plant was supposed to start in 2012 but will be delayed by one year. Renault has said start-up will happen early in 2014.[Just-Auto, subscription required]