Brussels (Brussels Morning) The French carmaker Renault and the Japanese carmaker Nissan jointly announced today plans to work more closely in developing all-electric cars, as they released details of a 26-billion-dollar investment plan to be implemented over the next five years.
The Renault-Nissan alliance, which also includes Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors, announced it would increase the number of its common electric vehicle platforms from four to five, in a fresh push for competitiveness in the growing market switch to zero-emission vehicles.
According to today’s release, the three companies will have a combined electric vehicle lineup of 35 models or classes of vehicle by 2030, stressing that 80% of their models would share common platforms by 2026, a significant step up from the current 60%.
The two decades-old carmaker alliance was rocked four years ago by allegations against founder and chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested in Japan and charged with misappropriation of funds. Ghosn claimed the charges were political in nature, stemming, he said, from Japanese authorities objections to having a Western CEO and company dictating business policy.
Ghosn ultimately escaped from custody in a highly-publicised case, fleeing Japan in an instrument case, before being smuggled through Turkey into his home country, Lebanon.
Following the high-profile incident, the Renault-Nissan alliance pledged to strengthen the ties between the two companies by pooling more resources. Renault currently holds a 43.4% stake in Nissan, while the Japanese company holds a 15% non-voting stake in the French carmaker, as well as a third of Mitsubishi Motors’ stock.
Renault-Nissan executives claim the company’s 26-billion-dollar investment plan will be “sufficient” to remain competitive in the EV market, despite growing competition from larger carmakers, such as Toyota, Volkswagen and Tesla, all of which are planning significantly larger investments in EV production for the same period.