Largest shareholder in Renault, the French government, is insisting the automaker continues to pour its efforts into its electric vehicle programme to safeguard domestic employment.

French Industry and Economics Ministers Christine Lagarde and Eric Besson underlined the importance of the EV programme at a meeting with Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn in Paris this week.

“The ministers recalled their high expectations as for investment by Renault in favour of electric vehicles and their components, in a context where the State has made significant efforts – a EUR5,000 (US$6,920) subsidy and R&D,” said a joint statement from both Ministers.

The politicians emphasised the “direct impact” of Renault’s strategy on manufacturing and jobs in France – as much as for the Group as for its suppliers.

“The appreciable improvement seen in the auto industry in 2010, should be maintained,” added the Ministers noting Renault was forecasting a significant increase in vehicle manufacture in France.

The Ministers also expressed their solidarity with Renault alliance partner Nissan, following the effects of Japan’s earthquake.