The Renault-Nissan Alliance is moving forward with its push for electric vehicles, with Renault recently announcing it would make the Twizy an open-source platform, meaning any other manufacturer (no matter how small) can use it to develop their own vehicles, as well as help further electrification in motor vehicles.
Renault and its partners in the project — OSVehicle (a B2B company that provides ready-to-use hardware platform that enables companies to produce complete electric vehicles; it had previously released a platform called Tabby) and ARM (creator of advanced, energy-efficient processor designs) — introduced the Renault POM (for Platform Open Mind) at CES, at the beginning of January.
“We are very excited to welcome a great Auto OEM like Renault in our open ecosystem,” stated Tin Hang and Yuki Liu, sibling founders of OSVehicle. “We are sure that our community will benefit and provide value to the automotive industry, contributing with new mobility solutions and solving specific needs with a wider range of connected car and self driving technologies. Sharing common hardware platforms to everyone is a new co-creative and horizontal approach that can disrupt this industry lowering significantly costs and time-to-market.”
POM is based on the Twizy, the Renault 2-seat, rear-drive electric car that has been navigating European roads since 2012. The platform will be available to start-ups, independent labs, researchers and privateers, allowing them to copy, share and modify existing software to completely customize the platform in the creation of electric vehicles.
“Renault has been making cars for more than 100 years and our industry is changing rapidly,” said Pierrick Cornet, VP Engineering for Groupe Renault. “Being able to work in all new ways, incorporating new technology with new scenarios in mind, ensures we’re constantly exploring new areas of transportation, connected cars, zero emissions and an easier life for our customers.”
The basic rear-motor, rear-drive POM platform will be available in two configurations — POM 45, with a 4-kW motor to allow the car to reach top speeds of 45 km/h, and the POM 80 (13-kW motor; 80 km/h). With a single gear transmission and a 6.1-kWh lithium-ion battery, it’s capable of travelling about 100 km, dependent on conditions and speeds.
The basic specs are a length of 2.32 m, width of 1.19 m and height of 1.46 m, and its curb weight is 450 kg. The rest is up to the companies who use it.
“Connected vehicles will enable new business models that deliver a broad range of choices and experiences for end users,” concluded Richard York, Vice President of Embedded Marketing, ARM. “The automotive industry will increasingly focus on the specific functionality that owners want, such as comfort level and entertainment. By providing this platform, Renault is paving the way for innovation in these areas.”