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EXCLUSIVE Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi unveil 2030 EV plan this week




  • To launch over 30 battery-powered electric cars based on 5 platforms – sources
  • Targets compact electric cars that are as cheap as petrol cars by 2025 ̵[ads1]1; sources

January 23 (Reuters) – Renault SA (RENA.PA), Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) plan to triple their investment in developing electric vehicles (EVs), said two people with knowledge of the plan to Reuters.

As established car manufacturers face pressure from new competitors and an expected shift in demand for electric cars, the French-Japanese alliance seeks to deepen cooperation.

The three are expected to announce on Thursday a plan to invest more than 20 billion euros ($ 23 billion) over the next five years in the development of electric cars, the sources said. By 2030, the alliance is expected to come up with more than 30 new battery-powered electric cars underpinned by five standard platforms, they said.

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This is in addition to the 10 billion euros the group has already spent on electrification, said the two people with knowledge of the plan.

A Nissan spokesman declined to comment. Spokesmen for Renault and Mitsubishi did not respond to requests for comment.

The “Alliance for 2030” plan aims to show “intensified cooperation” between car manufacturers, and highlights a “shared vision of electrification and connected mobility,” said a source. The five regular platforms are expected to cover 90% of the electric cars the companies are expected to develop and launch by 2030, the sources said.

The alliance of three companies has developed and partially distributed four standard EV platforms.

One supports electric cars such as Nissan’s upcoming Ariya and Renault’s Megane EV, and another supports affordable cars without frills from Nissan and its Chinese market partner Dongfeng, as well as for Renault’s Dacia brand. The other two are platforms for micromines, called “kei cars” in Japan, and light commercial vehicles.

By the middle of the decade, the alliance aims to distribute a fifth common platform for compact electric cars designed by Renault, the sources said.

Nissan has already decided to use this platform, called CMFB-EV, and other standardized components to electrify the Nissan Micra compact car, while Renault is expected to come up with a similar EV car based on the same platform, the sources said. Micra EV is estimated to be released in the mid-2020s.

AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC CARS

The logo of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is seen ahead of a joint press conference by Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi executives in Yokohama, Japan, March 12, 2019. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo

The car manufacturers hope to make compact electric cars as affordable as petrol-powered cars of similar size, the sources said.

Car manufacturers are expected to use standard batteries and other key components. The alliance jointly plans to invest in capacity to produce in France, the United Kingdom, China and Japan a total of 220 gigawatt hours with battery capacity by 2030 below the plan, the sources said.

By standardizing and dividing batteries, the alliance expects to halve battery production costs, they said.

The alliance is also expected to share solid-state lithium-ion battery technology, which Nissan has developed, they said.

The plan had been for the leaders of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to announce the 2030 plan last autumn at an event in Japan, but the announcement was postponed until this week due to an increase in COVID-19 in Japan, the sources said.

A disagreement between Nissan and Renault over the French company’s proposal for a full-fledged merger – tensions that erupted in the open with the arrest of former alliance leader Carlos Ghosn in 2018 – corresponded with stopped efforts to cooperate on technology and vehicle development, people with knowledge of the case said.

The three car manufacturers all have their own hybrid technologies with few shared key parts and systems. The limited collaboration in purchasing and development has created concern in the group about the possibility of achieving cost savings, said a source.

It was not immediately clear whether alliance leaders would discuss hybrids as part of their 2030 plan.

Nissan said in November that it plans to spend about $ 18 billion over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification, launching 23 electrified vehicles – including gasoline-electric hybrids – by 2030, including 15 electric cars. Half of Nissan’s car mix will be electrified by 2030, including electric cars and e-Power hybrids, the company said.

Renault has said that the Renault brand will be 100% electric in Europe by 2030, but company officials told Reuters that the goal does not apply to markets outside Europe and the group’s other brands, such as Dacia.

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Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; Edited by William Mallard and Kevin Krolicki

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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