Nissan alliance to invest $25 billion in electric vehicles over 5 years

This file photo taken on November 9, 2021 shows a Nissan logo at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama. AFP PHOTO

TOKYO: The Nissan car alliance said Thursday it will invest more than $25 billion in electric vehicles over the next five years, marking the latest massive injection of cash into the growing sector by the auto industry.

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors said the latest spending follows $11 billion already spent on its “offensive electrification strategy”, promising 35 new electric models by 2030.

Major global automakers are increasingly prioritizing electric and hybrid vehicles as concerns about climate change grow. Currently around 10% of car sales in Europe are electric vehicles, but the US figure is only 2%.

The alliance has pledged to strengthen cooperation by using five common manufacturing platforms for most models – adding a new platform in 2024 to the existing four – while injecting 23 billion euros (25, $7 billion) in its EV strategy.

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Part of the headline figure had already been announced by each company, but it is the first concrete target collectively set by the trio since the reorganization of senior executives at Nissan in Japan and Renault in France.

This restructuring was sparked by the saga surrounding the 2018 arrest of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who exposed flaws in the alliance.

“Three years ago, the alliance was going through an unprecedented crisis in its history based on a lack of trust,” alliance president Jean-Dominique Senard told reporters.

But “that period is in the past” and the partnership is “stronger than ever” thanks to solid foundations and flexible cooperation, he said.

“Together, we are making a difference for a new and global sustainable future,” Senard added in a statement.

To achieve its goals, the alliance said it aims to increase cooperation on common platforms to 60% to 80% of its models by 2026.

The trio also announced their goal of reaching a total electric vehicle battery production capacity of 220 gigawatt hours by the end of the decade, with Nissan tasked with leading the development of solid-state battery technology.

As demand grows for cleaner vehicles and pressure mounts to reduce the auto industry’s role in climate change, major automakers are announcing targets to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles.

In December, the world’s top-selling automaker, Toyota, also unveiled a more ambitious plan for its electric vehicle business, increasing its electric vehicle sales target by 75%.

German auto giant Volkswagen also said it would increase its investment in electric vehicles and digitalization to 89 billion euros over the next five years.

And Japanese electronics giant Sony recently announced that it would found a company this year to explore the rapidly growing market for electric vehicles.

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