, SEOUL, May 21- French auto giant Renault has signed an agreement with South Korean chemical firm LG Chem to jointly develop batteries for its electric cars, company officials said Wednesday.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Seoul on Tuesday by Thierry Bollore, Renault’s chief competitive officer, and LG Chem president Kwon Young Soo, an LG spokesman told AFP.
“LG will develop new batteries for next generation electric vehicles to be produced by Renault,” the spokesman said, declining to say whether the lithium ion batteries could be used for other vehicles.
LG said the batteries would boost the travelling range of Renault’s electric cars, addressing a key concern about the zero emission vehicles touted as a potential solution to the exhaust gases that blight busy cities worldwide.
Bollore said the agreement would help Renault develop a diversified group of electric vehicles, according to a statement from the company’s South Korean unit, Renault Samsung Motors.
Renault currently offers four electric models — the Twizy urban car, the Zoe mini, the Kangoo Z.E. van and a family sedan, the Fluence Z.E.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance, formed with the Japanese automaker in 1999, has invested four billion euros in the research and development of electric cars and aims to become a world leader in the emerging market.