PHOTO CAPTION: Cutaway view of Nissan Leaf battery pack

Renault Executives Suspected of Leaking Secret Battery Blueprints

Le Figaro reports France's DCRI investigating possible link to Chinese industrial espionage.

Published: 08-Jan-2011

Suspected leaks of Renault SA electric-car secrets may have compromised Japanese affiliate Nissan Motor Co.’s battery blueprints, as well as designs by LG Chem Ltd. and Better Place, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Three executives accused by the French carmaker of knowingly passing on strategic data had access to designs for Nissan and LG power packs and battery-management systems supplied by California-based Better Place, the people said. They asked not to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

Renault has fallen victim to an “organized, international ring,” and while the carmaker believes data on vehicle architecture and costs may have been passed to foreign competitors, battery technologies appear not to have been leaked, Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata told Le Monde in an interview. Pelata discussed the matter at length with his Nissan counterpart Toshiyuki Shiga and “reassured him about the technology we share,” he was quoted as saying.


Renault's line-up of electric cars.

Korean company already supplying cells to eight other carmakers.

Electric car charging stations will be installed at E. Lecleric stores in France.

Some 500 stations will be installed by 2015.

Renault ZOE concept could be available by 2012.

Car would have fully-charged range of 100 km.


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