Renault interested in electric rallying switch by 2025

The customer racing director of Renault Sport, Benoit Nogier, says that the French brand is thinkng to involve in WRC if it goes electric and is pushing FIA for full electric cars by the end of 2024.

The French brand is currently running a circuit series which is named Clio Cup and it also produces Rally4 and Rally5 cars for privateers in several national championships while its sister brand, Alpine, is currently running in Formula1 championship.

WRC will become hybrid next season and beyond and all three current manufacturers [M-Sport Ford, Toyota, Hyundai] will continue in World Rally Championship having already developed their hybrid cars.

According to Yves Matton, FIA rally director, the hybrid technology will attract more manufacturers to WRC expecting a new one manufacturer by 2023.

"Our long-term vision is clear", Nogier said.

"The future of rally cars is not even hybrid. 

"For us, the next generation of car will be full electric and I think the FIA should be a bit more visionary and should now push a bit more for fully electric cars.

"It’s clear that in the future all the sporting cars available will be electric.

"I’m very surprised that the FIA decided to stay with 100% thermic cars for Rally2. 

"I’m even very surprised at the technology that Rally1 will adopt next year. 

"For me it’s not enough, clearly.

"We will work with the FIA to prepare the next world cars. 

"But the next world is full electric. 

"That’s really what we think. 

"That’s the vision we have at Renault".

Moreover, Nogier answered when he was asked if a Rally1 program in WRC would be of interest should the FIA implement fully electric vehicles: "I think yes, it will be the next step.

"It doesn’t mean Alpine will be involved in a program in Rally1 even if it’s 100% electric because for sure F1 will remain the main program for the Alpine brand.

"But whatever the category is – Rally5, Rally4, Rally2, Rally1 – the part of the electric vehicle must be much wider than what the FIA is proposing at the moment.

"I understand that hybrid can be a step and I accept it but for me, the hybrid car will be just a transition and no more.

"In 2025 we must be ready to homologate and to welcome full electric cars on the rallies".

Finally, he admitted that Renault is working on a provisional project with electric technology in road cars with the intention of fitting this technology into rally cars: "If you want to do a nice electric racing car at the moment you need a specific battery. 

"It costs a lot. 

"But in the close future we will be able to use standard technology.

"We are working on a demonstrator at the moment showing the potential of the standard road car technology and how we can use the standard technology on a proper rally car.

"It will open a door to the next generation of car and maybe the FIA will think again about what the rally pyramid could be in the future".


Photo Credits: Alpine Racing Media Centre

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