Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors plan to triple investment in a joint venture to develop electric vehicles, unnamed sources close to the events told Reuters.

As established carmakers face pressure from new companies based on the production of electric cars, the French-Japanese alliance is looking for deeper cooperation, write Vrele Gume.

The official announcement of the plan to invest more than 20 billion euros in the next five years is expected to take place on Thursday. By 2030, the alliance is expected to launch more than 30 new electric models, based on five common platforms. That is an addition to the sum of 10 billion euros that the group has already spent on electrification, said one of the two unnamed sources. Spokesmen for Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi have not yet commented.

The "Alliance to 2030" plan aims to intensify cooperation between French and Japanese producers, with an emphasis on "sharing the vision in terms of electrification and digitally connected mobility," said one source. The five common platforms are also expected to cover 90 percent of the electric cars the companies will develop and market by 2030.

5 common EV platforms

The Alliance of Three Big Names has developed and partially put into operation four common EV architectures. One under the name CMF-EV forms the mechanical basis for cars like Renault Megane E-Tech, battery electric compact model and future Nissan Ariye, the other for affordable models like Dacia Spring and similar models from Nissan and Chinese partner Dongfeng. The other two are reserved for kei models in Japan and light commercial vehicles.

By the middle of the decade, the alliance aims to introduce the fifth common platform for small electric vehicles, designed by Renault.

Nissan has already decided to use this architecture under the name CMFB-EV, as well as other standardized components for electrification of the Nissan Micra, while Renault is expected to come out with a similar electric car, based on the same platform, sources say. The Micra EV should be launched by mid-2020.

Renault plans to launch a purely electric Renault 5 by 2024, with another small model, probably an SUV / crossover, inspired by the classic Renault 4L.

Affordable electric cars

Members of the alliance hope to produce compact electric cars that will be as affordable as their gasoline counterparts of similar size. The three companies expect to use shared batteries and other key components. The Alliance plans to jointly invest in battery production capacities in France, Britain, China and Japan, for a total of 220 GWh.

By standardizing and splitting batteries, the alliance expects to halve production costs related to batteries, and it is also expected to share solid battery technology developed by Nissan. The plan was for the leaders of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to announce their goals for 2030 last fall at an event in Japan, but everything was postponed for this week due to the expansion of Kovid-19 in Japan.

Disagreements between Nissan and Renault over the French company's proposal for a full merger, ie tensions that erupted in parallel with the arrest of the former leader of the alliance, Carlos Gon in 2018, correspond to the suspended efforts to cooperate in technology and vehicle development. All three car manufacturers have their own hybrid technologies with several common key parts and systems. Limited cooperation in procurement and development has raised concerns within the group about the possibility of savings. It was not immediately clear whether alliance leaders would discuss hybrids as part of the 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 and 15 purely electric models. Half of Nissan’s mix of vehicles will be electrified by 2030, including electric models and e-Power hybrids, the company said. Renault has reported that it will have a purely electric offer in Europe by 2030, but company officials told Reuters that the target does not apply to markets outside Europe and other brands of the group, such as Dacia.

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