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Renault appoints new global EV chief

In charge: Renault has promoted one of its top product executives Beatrice Foucher to take charge of its burgeoning electric vehicle program, which will see the all-important Zoe model launched early in the fourth quarter.

Product executive Foucher named Renault’s EV boss as crucial Zoe draws near

General News logo26 Jul 2012

By TERRY MARTIN

RENAULT has appointed Beatrice Foucher as vice-president of the French auto giant’s burgeoning electric vehicle program, effective September 1.

Succeeding Thierry Koskas, who will head Renault’s operations in Argentina, Ms Foucher’s appointment comes as the company prepares to introduce its first mass-produced electric vehicle, the compact Zoe.

Expected on sale in Australia in 2013 after undergoing testing in Australia in recent months as part of its final-phase development, the Zoe is the first Renault designed from the ground up as an EV and has an annual production capacity of 150,000 units.

It will be launched in Europe soon after Ms Foucher takes the reins and is expected to be the cheapest EV on the market, based on its €15,700 ($A18,494) price in France after a €5000 ($A5890) government subsidy is applied.

The Zoe is also billed as the first mass-production EV to be homologated with a range of 210km, as tested under the European cycle.

As GoAuto has reported, Renault also announced this week that it has teamed up with electronics specialist Qualcomm to conduct one of the first large-scale trials of wireless recharging – to take place in London – for the Zoe and other EVs such as the Fluence ZE sedan (due on sale in Australia later this year) and Kangoo ZE van (due here mid-2013).

80 center imageLeft: Renault Zoe.

Ms Foucher has worked for Renault since 1989, starting in the quality department before moving into customer research in 1993 and, in 1996, to the product division, where she successively held the positions of deputy product manager for Laguna II, product manager for Espace IV and head of future projects.

She rose to product director in April 2007.

As head of Renault’s EV program, Ms Foucher will report to executive vice-president of corporate planning, product planning and programs, Philippe Klein.

Mr Koskas has led the EV program since 2008.

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