Renault Suspends Managers on Suspicion of Leaking EV Secrets

French carmaker Renault has suspended three senior managers on suspicion of industrial espionage linked to the firm's electric vehicle plans. A company spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday that the three individuals were suspended over unspecified ethical issues.

“In late August 2010, an ethical alert was brought to the attention of the compliance committee," a Renault spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday. "The investigation that followed led to the suspension of three Renault executives”, the spokeswoman added without providing any more details.

On Wednesday, unnamed inside sources told the news agency that all three individuals were in charge of electric vehicles projects, with one of them being a member of a 30-strong panel of executives headed by chief executive Carlos Ghosn.

The three men were required to leave their offices on Monday, but Renault has not yet filled a formal complaint.

The French carmaker plans to launch four electric models by the end of 2012 including the Fluence EV, Kangoo Express EV, Twizy and Zoe. Along with sister-company Nissan, Renault is investing €200 million (about US $263.4 million) a year in the EV programme.

Source: AFP via Yahoo News