Is this the way to go? Renault turns a diesel truck into an electric truck.

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In a world where x1-class electric vehicles are gaining momentum, the quest for environmentally friendly transportation has reached a new frontier. Renault Trucks, a well-known player in the commercial vehicle market, has successfully converted an outdated 12-ton diesel truck into a modern battery-electric commercial vehicle. This pioneering endeavor raises important questions about the feasibility of using old, polluting vehicles to create a greener future.

Renault’s commitment to sustainability.

Renault Trucks’ decision to convert a 12-ton diesel truck into an electric vehicle is a testament to its commitment to eco-mobility. The main objective of this ambitious project is to assess the environmental, technical and economic feasibility of switching commercial vehicles from traditional fossil fuels to cleaner electricity.

This pioneering project is the result of a collaboration between Renault Trucks and Novumtech, a forward-looking start-up specializing in battery development. Financial support for this initiative was provided by the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME).


In the process of transforming the Renault Truck D to accommodate the electric drivetrain, only “absolutely essential components” were changed. In particular, the traditional diesel engine was replaced by an electric motor directly connected to the driveshaft. The old gearbox gave way to a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative.

The changes did not end there. The fuel tank, symbolizing the internal combustion engine’s thirst for oil, was removed and replaced with a massive 210 kWh lithium-ion battery, providing enough energy to power the converted commercial vehicle. A 22 kW on-board charger was installed to keep the battery charged and ready for use, ensuring the vehicle could be efficiently recharged when needed.

The conversion also eliminated components associated with the internal combustion engine, such as the power steering pump, suspension and brake air compressor, and air conditioning compressor. Electric alternatives were installed in their place: electric suspension and brake compressor, electric power steering pump, electric air conditioning compressor, electric heating.

Path to real-world testing.

After successfully completing the transformation process, the converted electric commercial vehicle is ready for the next stage of development. Renault Trucks’ aim is to register the modified vehicle to ensure that it complies with current operating and safety regulations. Once the necessary approvals have been obtained, the electric vehicle will be subjected to rigorous testing under various operating conditions.

This testing phase is crucial to assess the performance and reliability of the converted vehicle. It will provide valuable insights into its potential as an environmentally friendly and efficient commercial vehicle solution. Renault Trucks intends to gather data on the real-world capabilities of its electric vehicle, from range and charging infrastructure requirements to operational efficiency and environmental impact.

As the global shift to electric vehicles continues, initiatives like Renault Trucks’ conversion project demonstrate innovative approaches that can help bridge the gap between traditional polluting vehicles and a greener future. By converting old diesel trucks into clean electric vehicles, we are not only reducing emissions and fighting climate change, but also demonstrating the practicality and feasibility of such conversions.

A synergistic approach to sustainability.

This project is not only about vehicle conversions, but also about fostering collaboration and innovation. The Renault Truck D conversion took place at the Volvo Group’s CampX facility in Lyon. Renault Trucks sees this as an opportunity to strengthen collaboration between its employees, particularly the technical team in Lyon, and forward-looking start-ups such as Novumtech.

The aim is clear: to accelerate technological and commercial innovation in the commercial vehicle sector. By working together, traditional manufacturers and innovative start-ups can create synergies that foster progress and innovation in sustainable transportation.

Projects such as this one will play an important role in shaping the future of commercial vehicles. The Renault Trucks conversion project is a reminder that with determination, collaboration and a commitment to sustainability, we can find new solutions to combat the challenges of a changing world.

The road ahead.

The successful transformation of a 12-ton diesel truck into an electric commercial vehicle opens up exciting opportunities for the industry. It forces us to rethink the potential of older, polluting vehicles and demonstrates the adaptability of electric powertrains. With further testing and development, these converted electric trucks could become an integral part of the sustainable transportation landscape.

The Renault Trucks initiative is a beacon of hope on the road to cleaner and greener commercial transportation. It reminds us that the road to sustainability is paved with innovative ideas, collaboration and a strong commitment to a greener future. We look forward to seeing the results of real-world testing, but one thing is clear: the future of commercial transportation looks brighter and greener than ever before.

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