Renault’s Cleon plant today inaugurated the new ePT-160kW electric motor production line.

The group has invested EUR620 million since 2018 at the site to industrialise the group’s 100% electric and hybrid motors. As “a centre of expertise in the manufacture of very high performance electrical and mechanical components”, the plant will have capacity for 1 million electrified motors per year from 2024, including 500,000 electric motors and 510,000 hybrids.

This switch to electric vehicles was initiated in 2012, supports group strategy of basing electric value chain activities in France long term and the brand’s ambition to be 100% electric for passenger vehicles in Europe by 2030.

Jose Vicente de los Mozos, group industrial director, said: “The Cleon plant is the largest production centre for electric motors in France. Today, it is a new stage in its conversion to electric power and a great source of pride for the plant’s 3,228 employees to produce this new electric motor for the Megane E-Tech.

“Another future electric motor, developed jointly with Valeo, will also be assembled here.”

New engine at cutting edge of innovation

A new electric motor developed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, with power output of 160kW, it will equip full electric models of Renault, including the Megane E-Tech Electric, manufactured by the Douai plant within the ElectriCity cluster.

This new generation motor is synchronous with a wound rotor, a technology the group has been using for 10 years and which offers better efficiency than the permanent magnet motor. In addition, the absence of rare earths secures the supply while limiting its environmental impact and production costs. More compact and lighter than the Zoe engine, it has more power (96kW and 160kW) and better torque (300Nm).

Factory geared towards electricity

This new assembly line was installed after the renovation of approximately 8,000 square metres of floorspace. The production shop houses four assembly lines and two winding lines with capacity for 120,000 motors per year and, thanks to flexible design, could produce 240,000.

Since 2015, Cleon has produced electric powertrains for the Zoe, Twingo ZE, Kangoo ZE and Master ZE.

The new ePT-160kW motor will also go into a future Renault C-segment model. From 2024, production will be expanded with a ePT-100kW engine for the future 5 electric car and, from 2027, with the new generation 200kW electric motor, designed without rare earths and developed in partnership with Valeo and Valeo Siemens eAutomotive.

On 23 June, Renault announced recruitment of 100 new employees to support the site’s electrical transformation, as part of the Renouveau France 2025 plan.

Cleon site data:

98 million engines and gearboxes produced since the plant opened in 1958
EUR620 million invested since 2018 to industrialise electric motors and hybrid components
In 2021, the site produced 934,459 mechanical components, 34% for electric
3,228 employees, 14% of whom are women for operators and technicians and 7% for managers