After stripping down a Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive unit, Renault found that the cost of the components used was similar to what they spend for their own system, the e-tech hybrid. So just how similar, you ask?
Well, Renault boss Luca de Meo said that his company’s hybrid tech was “very close” in terms of cost to Toyota’s system, despite the Japanese carmaker having a head start of more than 20 years as far as this technology is concerned, reports Autonews Europe.
“On the cost side, we estimate that we are very close to the cost of Toyota,” he said during an online media interview.
Read Also: Renault Releases Captur Plug-In Hybrid And Clio Hybrid, PHEV Has 50 Km EV Range
De Meo went on to promise that his company will “reduce costs dramatically in the next 2-3 years,” for the e-tech system, whose setup is similar to Toyota’s in the sense that it uses a series-parallel system that can run the car with electric power alone, or use the combustion engine additionally.
The Renault CEO also said that the cost of the system was further reduced by the fact that the carmaker doesn’t use a conventional gearbox, but rather a clutchless ‘dog’ gearbox, along with a second electric motor to synchronize the combustion and electric engines. Toyota uses a similar system, dubbed E-CVT.
If you’re wondering just how Renault managed to catch up to Toyota given the latter launching its first hybrid system all the way back in 1997, well, look no further than Formula 1.
De Meo stated that Renault has been working on this system for 10 years, utilizing the engineering skills of the Renault F1 Team.
Sharing is caring?
It’s interesting to note that Renault isn’t sharing its hybrid tech with alliance partner Nissan. When asked about this, de Meo said: “This was the same question I asked the people here when I joined – Why don’t we have the same solution? But history is history.”
Also adding that e-Tech was “more adapted to European conditions,” than Nissan’s ePower system.