Groupe Renault has announced the acquisition of French company Power Vehicle Innovation (PVI), with a view to accelerating growth in its light commercial vehicle business.

A statement said PVI – which converts commercial vehicles to run on natural gas or electricity – operated a small-scale, flexible production facility that would be of benefit to Renault. In turn, the French giant would provide economies of scale for the purchasing of components as well as a significant technology portfolio.

“We are very pleased to welcome PVI’s team to Groupe Renault,” said Ashwani Gupta, Vice-President of the company’s Light Commercial Vehicle Division. “The acquisition is part of our strategy to develop a complete range of electric LCVs coupled with connected services, offering a unique opportunity for our teams to work on the next generation of this type of vehicle.”

PVI has previously worked with Renault on the development and electrification of the upcoming Renault Master ZE. The large van, which was unveiled earlier this year at the Brussels Motor Show, is due to be launched before the end of 2017.

The acquisition of PVI includes Escal, a subsidiary in which the company has a 95% stake. Escal specialises in the distribution, installation and maintenance of security systems for vehicles. Escal itself manages PVI’s service, maintenance and mechanical integration activities. Both PVI and Escal, with a combined workforce of 93 employees, will be attached to Renault’s LCV Division.