The French-Japanese automotive alliance of Renault and Nissan has announced plans to invest 23 billion euros in electric vehicle technology over the next five years, marking the latest massive injection of cash into the growing sector by automobile industry.
The alliance, which also includes small Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp, will share research, auto parts and technology to cut costs and produce 35 new electric vehicle models by 2030 for markets around the world.
Nissan Motor Co will lead the development of a next-generation battery for electric vehicles, while Renault will lead the development of electronics and software to connect millions of vehicles and provide digital services and features.
“We have aligned roadmaps on battery technologies for electric vehicles, leading among other things to the selection of a common battery supplier for Renault and Nissan in France, the United Kingdom and Japan. We have defined a common vision on the electrical and electronic architecture,” said Jean-Dominique. Senard, the president of the alliance.
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 into its strategy EV.
Some of the headline figures had already been announced by each company, but this is the first concrete target set collectively 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 a crisis unprecedented in its history based on a lack of trust,” Senard told reporters.
But “that period belongs to the past” and the partnership is “stronger than ever” thanks to solid foundations and flexible cooperation, he added.
“Together, we are making a difference for a new and global sustainable future,” continued Senard.
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 EV 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 will find a company this year to explore the rapidly growing market for electric vehicles.