Renault, Mitsubishi alliance to unveil EVs plan

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Renault, Mitsubishi alliance to unveil EVs plan

The French-Japanese alliance is trying to deepen cooperation as established automakers face pressure from new competitors and an expected shift in demand toward EVs.

The sources said that the three are expected to announce a plan to invest more than 20 billion 2.58 trillion over the next five years on EV development. The alliance is expected to come up with more than 30 new battery-powered EVs underpinned by five common platforms by the year 2030.

The group has already spent €10 billion on electrification, and that is a result of the €10 billion that the group has already spent on electrification, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

A Nissan spokeswoman wouldn't say anything about the speculation. Spokespeople for Renault and Mitsubishi didn't respond to requests for comment.

One source said that the Alliance to 2030 plan aims to show greater cooperation among automakers, highlighting a shared vision on mobility and electrification. The sources said that five common platforms are expected to cover 90% of the EVs the companies are expected to develop and launch by the year 2030.

Four common EV platforms have been developed and partly deployed by the three-firm alliance.

One underpins EVs such as Nissan's upcoming Ariya and Renault's Megane EV, while another supports affordable no-frills cars by Nissan and its China market partner Dongfeng, as well as Renault's Dacia brand. The two other platforms are for micro minis - called kei cars in Japan - and light commercial vehicles.

The sources said that the alliance hopes to deploy a fifth common platform for compact EVs designed by Renault by the end of the year.

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 Micra EV is projected to be released by the mid- 2020s.

According to sources, the automakers hope to make compact EVs as affordable as gasoline-fueled vehicles of similar size.

The automakers are expected to use common batteries and other key components. The alliance plans to produce a total of 220 gigawatt hours of battery capacity in France, Britain, China and Japan by 2030, according to the sources.

By standardizing and sharing batteries, the alliance expects to cut battery manufacturing costs by half.

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

The plan was for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to announce the 2030 plan last autumn at an event in Japan, but the announcement was postponed until this week because of a surge in COVID 19 in Japan.

There was a disagreement between Nissan and Renault over the French firm's proposals for a full-blown merger that resulted in the arrest of former alliance leader Carlos Ghosn in 2018 and stalled efforts to collaborate on technology and vehicle development, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The three automakers have their own hybrid technologies with few shared key parts and systems. Sources said that the limited cooperation in sourcing and development has raised concerns within the group about the ability to achieve cost savings.

It wasn't immediately clear whether alliance leaders will discuss hybrids as part of their 2030 plan.

Nissan plans to launch 23 electrified vehicles, including gasoline-electric hybrids and 15EVs, over the next five years in November. Half of Nissan's vehicle mix will be electrified by 2030, including EVs and e-Power hybrids, the company said.

Renault said its brand will be 100% electric in Europe by 2030, but company officials told Reuters that the target doesn't apply to markets outside Europe and the group's other brands, such as Dacia.