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

  • Launch over 30 battery-electric vehicles based on 5 platforms – sources
  • Targets compact electric vehicles as cheap as petrol cars by 2025 – sources

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

As established automakers face pressure from new competitors and an expected shift in demand towards electric vehicles, the Franco-Japanese alliance is looking 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 vehicles, the sources said. By 2030, the alliance is expected to offer more than 30 new battery electric vehicles based on five common 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 familiar with the plan.

A Nissan spokesman declined to “comment on speculation.” Spokespersons for Renault and Mitsubishi did not respond to requests for comment.

The “Alliance to 2030” plan aims to show “intensified cooperation” between automakers, highlighting a “shared vision on electrification and connected mobility”, a source said. The five joint platforms are expected to cover 90% of the electric vehicles the companies are expected to develop and launch by 2030, the sources said.

The three-company alliance has developed and partially deployed four common electric vehicle platforms.

One underpins electric vehicles such as Nissan’s upcoming Ariya and Renault’s Megane EV, and another supports no-frills affordable cars from Nissan and its Chinese market partner Dongfeng, as well as the brand. Dacia from Renault. The other two are platforms for micro minis, called “kei cars” in Japan, and light commercial vehicles.

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, and 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, it said. the sources. The Micra EV is expected to be released in the mid-2020s.

AFFORDABLE EVs

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

Automakers hope to make compact electric vehicles as affordable as similarly sized gas-powered vehicles, the sources said.

Automakers should use common batteries and other key components. The alliance plans to jointly invest in the capacity 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 cut battery manufacturing costs in half, they said.

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

The plan was for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi executives to announce the 2030 plan last fall at an event in Japan, but the announcement was delayed 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 proposals for a full-fledged merger – tensions that came to light with the arrest of former alliance chief Carlos Ghosn in 2018 – corresponded to stalled efforts to collaborate on technology and vehicle development, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The three automakers all have their own hybrid technologies with few shared key parts and systems. Limited sourcing and development cooperation has raised concerns within the group about the ability to achieve cost savings, a source said.

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

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

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

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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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