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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it has just agreed a EUR 400 million loan to the Renault Group to contribute to research and development for a new generation of affordable, environmentally friendly vehicles, a major project in technological and environmental terms.

The financial partnership was concluded on Monday 27 May 2013 at Renault Group’s Head Office in Boulogne-Billancourt (France), in the presence of EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive and the Renault Group’s Financial Director Dominique Thormann.

This finance will help the Group to develop a new generation of efficient and affordable environmentally friendly vehicles, via the deployment of innovative lightweight vehicle platforms, vehicles with new generation drivetrains and a new small urban vehicle with a groundbreaking platform.

  • Programme to reduce the weight of vehicles: This programme is aimed at proposing and validating, via virtual platforms and prototypes, an integrated programme to drastically reduce the weight of vehicles and optimise their aerodynamics, with a view to applying it to vehicles in the future. It is based on implementing innovative solutions leading to real technological breakthroughs.
  • New generation powertrain. This involves developing a new generation powertrain concept for future commercial application. The research programme will also be concerned with introducing new industrial solutions for manufacturing this powertrain.
  • New small urban vehicle with a groundbreaking platform. Compact, modular and accessible, this future small urban Renault, which will replace the current Twingo, will have very competitive CO2 emissions levels.

“Cutting-edge technologies are a spearhead for the future in terms of sustainable development and competitiveness”, Mr de Fontaine Vive emphasised at the signing ceremony. “Through our support for innovation, we are preparing the future of the European motor industry. And the first to benefit will be the EU’s citizens, in their daily life.”

This financing operation builds on the close partnership established between the EIB and the Renault Group and brings the total amount of finance provided by the EIB since 2009 for innovative Renault Group projects to nearly EUR 1 billion.

This loan also demonstrates the Bank’s concrete commitment to innovation. Aware of this sector’s strategic importance for competitiveness and job creation, the EIB has made this area of its operations a priority. At the European Union level, EUR 9 billion was earmarked in 2012 for research, development and innovation projects in EU countries, including EUR 773 million for France.