by Norihiko Shirouzu
Jan 23 (Reuters) – Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp plan to triple investment to jointly develop electric vehicles (EVs), two people familiar with the plan told Reuters.
As incumbent automakers face pressure from new competitors and an expected shift in demand for electric vehicles, the Franco-Japanese alliance is looking to deepen its cooperation.
The three players are expected to announce on Thursday a plan to invest more than 20 billion euros ($23 billion) in the development of electric vehicles over the next five years, the sources said.
By 2030, the alliance is expected to offer more than 30 new battery electric vehicles based on five common platforms.
This ambition is in addition to the 10 billion euros that the partners have already spent on the electrification of their offer, specified the two sources familiar with the plan.
Spokespersons for Renault and Mitsubishi did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A Nissan spokesman, he said, declined to “comment on speculation”.
The “Alliance to 2030” plan aims to implement “intensified cooperation” between car manufacturers with a “shared vision on electrification and connected mobility”, said a source.
The five common platforms are expected to cover 90% of the electric vehicles companies plan to develop and launch by 2030.
The three-company alliance has already developed and partially deployed four common electric vehicle platforms.
One serves as the basis for models such as Nissan’s forthcoming Ariya and Renault’s Mgane EV, another producing the more basic and cheaper models from Nissan and its Chinese market partner Dongfeng, as well as Renault’s Dacia brand. .
The other two platforms build compact models, called “kei cars” in Japan, and light utility vehicles.
A FIFTH JOINT PLATFORM PLANNED BY 2025
By the middle of the decade, the alliance aims to roll out a common fifth platform for Renault-designed compact electric vehicles, the sources said.
Nissan has already decided to use this platform, called CMFB-EV, along with other standardized components, to electrify the Nissan Micra compact car, while Renault is expected to offer a similar electric car based on the same platform. indicated the sources.
Automakers are hoping to make compact electric vehicles as affordable as similarly sized gasoline vehicles, the sources said.
They should use batteries and other key components in common. The alliance plans to jointly invest to produce in France, Britain, China and Japan a total of 220 gigawatt hours of battery capacity by 2030 under the plan, the sources said.
By standardizing and sharing batteries, the alliance hopes to halve the cost of manufacturing these parts.
The partners are also expected to share solid-state lithium-ion battery technology that Nissan has developed, the sources said.
Executives from Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi were planning to announce the 2030 plan last fall at an event in Japan, but its presentation was postponed this week due to a resurgence of COVID-19 in the country, they said. indicates the sources. (French version Benjamin Mallet and Claude Chendjou)