Renault and Nissan in $26 billion electric pledge

Renault and Nissan will work more closely together to make electric cars, they said on Thursday, as they detailed a $26 billion investment plan over the next five years to stay competitive in the switch to cleaner driving.

The two-decade old alliance, which also includes Mitsubishi Motors, said it would increase the number of common platforms for electric vehicles to five from four.

They will build a combined electric vehicles line-up of 35 vehicles by 2030, the companies said, adding that by 2026 four fifths of their models would share common platforms, up from 60% now.

“The alliance will hold its place among the world automotive leaders,” Alliance Operating Board chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, said during an online presentation.

Asked whether the electric vehicles spending plan was enough, given it is only around half what Germany’s Volkswagen  plans to invest in the technology, Renault CFO Clotilde Delbos said it was “sufficient,” given the alliance’s past experience in making electric vehicles.

“We are not a second division player when we come together,” Renault CEO Luca de Meo said during the presentation.

To power the new electric vehicles, the partners said they planned to secure 220 gigawatt (GWh) hours of battery production capacity by 2030, providing greater scale that would allow them to halve battery costs by 2026 and reduce them by 65% by 2028. They did not give details on how the capacity would be secured.

In June, Renault unveiled a five-year 10 billion euro electric vehicles strategy with a plan to launch 10 models and to have electric vehicles account for 90% of all models by 2030.

Nissan said in November it would spend 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification, including on electric vehicles and hybrid gasoline-electric cars.

Japan’s Number 3 carmaker plans to launch 23 electrified vehicles by 2030, including 15 pure electric vehicles. It has also said it wants to reduce lithium-ion battery costs by 65% within eight years and introduce potentially game-changing all solid-state batteries by March 2029.

Nissan said this week it also plans to replace its Micra car in Europe with a new electric vehicles using one of the common platforms.

Holding the three-way alliance together is a cross-shareholding relationship, with Renault owning 43.4% of Nissan, which in turn has a 15% non-voting stake in the French car company and a third of Mitsubishi Motors’ stock.

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