renault 4Lectric by charlie nghiem renault 4 ever shortlisted entry
renault 4Lectric by charlie nghiem   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry renault 4Lectric by charlie nghiem   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry
jul 14, 2011

renault 4Lectric by charlie nghiem renault 4 ever shortlisted entry

‘renault 4Lectric,’ redesign concept by charlie nghiem



in order to sustain current trends of energy consumption, efforts to produce it must become a shared responsibility. aiming to create a circular economy, the ‘renault 4Lectric’ concept vehicle by french designer charlie nghiem uses solar power to fuel both itself and its community. it is one of fifty projects shortlisted from over 3200 designs from 92 countries in designboom’s recent RENAULT 4 EVER competition, which asked participants to redesign the renault 4 with an eye towards historical lineage, contemporary aesthetics, and sustainable design. ‘vehicles can be used as our first step towards a circular economy, if we give it more responsibility than its function of driving,’ the designer explains. the renault 4 has a tradition of providing owners with a functional and self-sustaining means of mobility, and this redesign is a modern extension of these values: environmentally responsible in its use and production, the vehicle lets households participate in autonomous production of renewable energy.



concept diagram



though it includes thermal sensors on the body, the ‘4Lectric’ draws most of its energy from two batteries, powered by solar films on the windows and roof. devised primarily for personal use, the first battery accumulates energy during braking periods while the car being driven: when the user goes to an electric charging station, he gets just the remaining amount needed, with the rest already provided by what has accumulated during the ride. the vehicle can also be recharged through a connection at the home, where a two-way circuit allows energy to be harnessed for domestic use. this scenario can be applied to work places as well: the parked car is no longer passive but becomes active participant in the generation of its own energy.

the second, or ‘social’, battery functions in the same way but is designed for collective consumption, redirecting accumulated electricity to a storage center. this stock of energy provided by the users services manufacturing centers, where vehicles at the end of their lives are recycled for new models. sharing energy in a circular motion, the public pool of energy can also be applied to collective concerns, such as maintaining transportation networks or helping geographical areas where access to electricity is limited.






the design concentrates on the essential, synthesizing functions at all opportunities. using resources as efficiently as possible, the car is assembled with fewer parts and therefore has a lighter construction. in addition to using recycled or recyclable materials, local manufacturers are involved in production when possible, in order to support their business as well as minimize transportation costs.

once the car has reached the end of its life, the energy which was redistributed throughout his lifetime helps to revive the car in another form. the manufacturer’s role is no longer that of a linear industrialist, but one that is involved in perpetuating new, environmentally sustainable values that go beyond the automobile.










headlights detail, illuminated


renault is proud of the results of the RENAULT 4 EVER competition and extends sincere thanks to all of its participants. the jury has still not made its final decision on the winning entry, but the results will be published to designboom at the end of july.

  • how to say ! It’s perfect… i like it !

    sylvbouy says:
  • it’s perfect, except those headlights, it;s crosseyed 😀

    c says:
  • Great project, well done!

    foudebassan says:
  • the best, so far …

    SN says:
  • great project, i like it.. she look good!

    patrick riva says:
  • Ok, this is more like it!

    TMR PNR says:
  • great styling!

    GB says:
  • Excellent 🙂

    Jimbo_Jet says:
  • Nice work!

    Sirsaa says:
  • Not really feeling this one

    Greece says:
  • takes so much time and effort to design this but does it remind you of the original 4?!

    samyar says:
  • Why two batteries? The energy I use is different from the energy You use? Interesting the concept of “floating solar panel” but Photovoltaic is not the best solution..
    but good concept.

    davide T. says:
  • nice project!

    Nickaze says:
  • Very nice and funny!!

    Dario says:
  • Let the best 3D modeller and renderer win!

    Arnold says:
  • I want to buy one now!

    ison says:
  • Its too bad the face feels that narrow, otherwise feels pretty good

    Jesse says:
  • Sign me up for two! Finally an accurate fuel gauge. Great concept.

    Geoff Bush says:
  • Better, much better, better presentation, better aesthetics, better overall feel, modern but still looks like a 4L.

    So far the best, congrats, you made a good looking with presebtation that matches.

    The only thing I would change for usre is the front, making the grill wider, it seems too narrow, making the car look taller and narrower, I think it would look better if it was wider, like the original grill.

    About the coment “let the best 3d win”, whatś the problem? Or do you think just because some people know how to draw that they have good ideas?

    what? says:
  • Now this one actually deserves to be shortlisted ( as did the 2 before this one), great bold fresh design, without loosing the recognizable original design of the 4, combined with a well thought out concept.

    great stuff! nice renders!

    Bedo says:
  • *****

    dbkii says:
  • What? I think what Arnold is trying to say is that the fact that is a photo-realistic image does not make it a better choice than that of someone who probably worked the design to a deeper lever by sketching it. So far the entries shown have been 3D renders and even you have commented on design flaws. This design is overall good but I believe that the designer got to the point of having to choose between finishing the model or paying attention to fundamental details like the size of the grille

    Dave says:
  • the best so far! 😉

    Pedro says:
  • Yawn. What is it with all these box-like cars, sure take the renault DNA but what happened to car design. I like the idea of the collective energy centre, but the rest is so dull.

    3D CAD produces lovely renders, but where’s the design?!

    nd says:
  • Great job, for me it’s the first who deserve to be in the shortlist, congrats

    TomFlix says:
  • Now we’re getting somewhere!

    Marc D. says:
  • Charlie Ngehiem was able to bring the past into the future, without losing any reference.
    Even removing the front grille, the car has not lost personality.
    His very up dated design is harmonious with the new tendencies of the group Renault / Nissan, as well delineated by the side creases.
    The modernity of the project concepts goes against the current need to minimize the range anxiety, by the versatile use of two batteries.
    The design also focuses on the current trend to simplify the interior without giving up the facilities offered by the new electronic resources, ergonomics and comfort.
    Even though this is not the Chosen winning work, he is already a winning design, by the freedom, lightness and casualness, showing clearly the density of capacities of the versatile author.

    Sergius says:
  • el mejor que se vió hasta ahora, se renueva respetando el diseño y logrando una imagen más que agradable; muy buen laburo!

    marcos says:
  • I don´t like… is not attractive. I think it needs more design work especially in the front the car.
    I like the energy system.

    Si says:
  • I like this one! guess designs are getting better with each entry Designboom provides. Although I have a question, do all the participants know if they are part of the shortlist?

    CHS says:
  • until now , the best one

    s parola says:
  • Que buena propuesta y que bien presentada. Mucha suerte!!

    felipe says:
  • At this day, this one is my favorite ! Congrats Charlie ! The 4L spirit is really here. I love it ! I have no regrets that my project haven’t been shortlisted when seeing projects like this. However, I learned a lot when modeling mine. Next time will be better ^^
    Here is the link :

    Seb C says:
  • Hello Charlie,
    Until now, your project seems to be the most interesting. Good global vision on the energy problem. What add a lot for the feedbacks are your ability and sensitivity to realize good CGi images. But, the current “life cycle” of Renault gave us precise information on how to conceive this new “4L” => WORK. Look at the Frendzy concept freshly unveiled… The old 4L was the Kangoo’s ancestor. It’s a tool car, difficult to show attractive because of functional proportions. Even more, if you look back to the past advertising of the 4L, it was sold as the “Capture” Concept => EXPLORE. Which was a bit confusing when analysing the 4L design brief ! Anyway, French carmakers never look back to create new concepts. It’s a little bit sad that you didn’t understand that to achieve a very strong concept and pointing something more “designed” and not only looking “modelled” in 3D. ;o). Anyway, good luck for the contest. ;o)

    Pino says:
  • Your modeling skills are quite good Seb C, nothing short of romeone being shortlisted or winning. I think the problem with it is that you missed many elements of the 4L and that is also the reason why people have blamed the other shortlisted projects so much: This competition WAS HARD. Car design by itself is the toughest of all and then retro design is even tougher and then redesigning something boxy like the 4L by taking into account today’s tdends and regulations, well, it’s a nightmare, sure it’s no piece of cake like the VW beetle or straightforward like the fiat 500.
    I think most of the designs were cut off because they didn’t even meet the criteria to be e 4L derivate, because just redesigning the 4L is like walking on a razor blade: you could fall off both ways of cut yourself by missinterpreting it’s boxy morphology, so congrats to anyone, shortlisted or not, they’re all nice jobs.

    m25 says:
  • possibile che su un progetto di mobilitá urbana complesso come quello che veniva ventilato dal concorso, fin ora i progetti presentati come “shortlisted” sono stati commentati da un pubblico sicuramente all’altezza dei progettisti con il massimo grado di complessitá del… “la griglia anteriore é troppo stretta…” possibile che il design sia esattamente quello che la gente pensa? e cioé dare una forma nuova ad un contenuto vecchio? ma siamo proprio tutti cosí rincoglioniti??
    e comunque assomiglia alla Lancia Y piú che alla R4…

    Dave K says:
  • and the winner is! …

    resi says:
  • Ive been disappointed with the entries so far and criticized them all. But not this, i think it finally captures and updates the right spirit of the R4 and id be happy to own one. It needs some refinement but the essentials are all there and its great work. Unlike the others this is the car which could sell millions, it looks and acts like a honest “peoples” car without losing any of the R4 charm, simplicity and ultility. I love the cross-eyed lights, it surely gives a strong touch of humanity to an ice-cold subject. The designer has the right sense and flavor going, dont let him stray away. This is the best so far and if i were Renault id give top consideration to making this car.

    charles says:
  • You know what? I keep looking at the car and also the comments. If anyone including Renault thinks this is not a winning entry worthy of production, Charlie should offer the design to another maker. This way it quells the negative critique about it not being a true R4 or not following the rules of the contest. So fine, lets separate it from Renault, as a stand alone new idea, its worth serious consideration and Renault isnt the only player out there. They dont have to like it.

    charles says:
  • simply b e a u t i f u l !!!

    santiago says:
  • love it !

    manantsoa says:
  • produce it pleace

    Nils says:
  • Wow this one worth to leave a comment not like the previous ones like the first one which I hated to look at.
    cool design guy I love the idea and the presentation too but you can work more on heat lights and back view where the lines I think messed up.
    good job keep working

    tirdad says:
  • Like the side and rear profiles but think the old Renault 4 look is lost from the front. Nice concept but I won’t be buying one ’til I see a CD player and iPod dock 🙂

    Lombax says:
  • Nice project, but how do i reach the Saleccia beach in Corse?
    Renault 4 makes it ..

    Stefano says:
  • which software is used to create this design?

    seolo says:
  • This car is made for home-office trip. R4 was made to go over Sahara with your family in the back, so I don’t thing that this could ever be R4

    Dejan says:
  • It has captured the spirit of the R4. The best design so far, according to me! Congratulations!

    Kliment says:
  • Renault you must produce it pleace !!!

    R4 FAN says:
  • nice rendering, but ugly design especially the front and the distance between front flashlight…

    g says:
  • Front and side are ugly.. What do those designers do ? FFS !!

    nAux says:
  • Visually best I think

    b says:
  • And this is a wonderful website keep up the good work.

    Anonymous says:

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