Renault and Daimler have begun examining each other's books after signing a partnership deal last week, and are discussing cooperation on electric vehicles, Renault's COO said on Thursday.
We hadn't opened our books before the deal was signed for relatively obvious reasons. So that was done after the deal was signed, Patrick Pelata told journalists on the sidelines of a conference on electric vehicles in Paris.
Renault, its partner Nissan and Daimler last week signed a cooperation deal initially focusing on small cars, light commercial vehicles and engines. The deal was cemented with small equity exchanges. Pelata said he did not expect competition between the partners on electric vehicles: No, no. We're putting everything together at the moment ... We're in the process of comparing who does what.
Asked if Renault and Daimler would work together on electric vehicles, Pelata replied: Our teams are discussing that ... It was part of the talks (before the deal was signed) but to talk and to concretize you need numbers, Pelata said.
Pelata said the new partners would focus first on the joint projects they had already announced.
Renault and Nissan are key backers of electric vehicle technology, plowing 4 billion euros ($5.46 billion) into getting electric cars on the roads and forecasting that they could account for 10 percent of the world auto market by 2020.
France's government is also throwing its weight behind electric cars, announcing on Tuesday that 12 pilot cities had agreed to install public infrastructure for recharging batteries.
PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault had also pledged to be able to deliver 60,000 electric vehicles in France -- split roughly equally between the two -- in 2011-12, ecology minister Jean-Louis Borloo said then.
Germany's Daimler last month signed a deal with China's BYD to develop electric cars for China.
(Reporting by Helen Massy-Beresford and Gilles Guillaume, editing by Will Waterman)