Renault and the CEA (French alternative energies and atomic energy commission) have signed a research and development agreement to work jointly developing electric vehicles, new energies, and cleaner combustion engines.

Joint project teams will work together at several sites, Renault said, managed by a ‘strategic steering committee’ which will “identify areas of synergy and the corresponding objectives, approve the three-year research and development program and ensure that a win-win balance is maintained for each party, particularly with respect to results and their use”.

The committee will be chaired jointly by the head of the DREAM (research, advanced studies and materials division) at Renault and the CEA technological research director.

Following studies in 2009, four main areas of research have been set out: new energies in transport; upgrades in electrical and electronic architecture; improvements in the competitiveness of combustion engines and communicating vehicles [something Renault alliance partner is deeply into in Japan – ed].

The initial commitment is three consecutive years, extended annually by mutual agreement. To ensure that the teams remain in place over the long term, Renault and the CEA have set up a “significant provisional annual budget”.

“The aim for Renault is to achieve technological breakthroughs by developing a broader view of mobility in order to offer users cleaner vehicles, affordable by the greatest number,” the automaker said.

“The CEA will provide input and suggestions to help Renault reach these objectives. The CEA has multidisciplinary expertise in several key areas of sustainable mobility and will draw upon all its resources in the area of technological research. The studies must create value for customers as part of a win-win balance with Renault.”