The Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Alliance is the latest multinational car giant to commit to a massive increase in electric vehicles by 2030 – with closer collaboration than ever before, and plans for affordable battery production.
The Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Alliance – which became a trio in 2017 when Mitsubishi was added to the Renault-Nissan partnership established in 1999 – is the latest multinational car giant to announce a mass rollout of electric vehicles (EVs), confirming 35 new electric cars by 2030, alongside deeper ties on future petrol and diesel vehicles and autonomous technology.
The company says 80 per cent of its future line-up will share common vehicle “platforms” and certain mechanical components – and either have subtle design differences or unique bodywork, to cut costs.
Industry analysts fear future models could increasingly look the same – with only subtle styling changes – however the first cars to come from the new alliance have so far had unique bodywork to distinguish each brand.
Announced overnight, the three companies have detailed their plans for the rest of the decade – including a €23 billion ($AU36.4 billion) investment over the next five years that will spawn 35 new electric vehicles by 2030, 90 per cent of which will ride on five new electric platforms.
Leading the way will be the CMF-EV platform – underpinning the Nissan Ariya medium SUV and Renault Megane E-Tech Electric small SUV – which will form the basis of 15 models by 2030, accounting for 1.5 million annual sales.
The Renault 5 and Nissan Micra replacement will be based on the CMF-BEV platform, which the company boldly claims is “the most competitive compact electric platform in the world”, offering up to 400km of range, and costs 33 per cent lower than the current Renault Zoe electric car (last sold in Australia for $50,000).
CMF-AEV and KEI-EV will underpin future affordable city cars in emerging markets, Europe and Japan, while LCV-EV is designed for commercial vehicles – though as a front-wheel-drive architecture aimed at vans, it’s unlikely to underpin dual-cab utes for Australia.
All future cars developed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance will be developed under the car conglomerate’s “leader, follower” strategy – which sees one brand appointed as the “leader” in a particular vehicle segment, with a certain type of powertrain (petrol/diesel, hybrid or electric).
While the other brands (or singular brand) developing vehicles for that segment have input into the design and engineering, they are “followers” and adapt the base vehicle being developed to suit their brand – either with subtle styling changes or completely unique bodywork, as well as other elements of differentiation.
The strategy – first announced in 2020 – will see the percentage of the Alliance’s vehicles based on ‘common platforms’ increase from 60 per cent today to 80 per cent (of a total of 90 models) in 2026 – including the next-generation Mitsubishi Triton “leader” and Nissan Navara “follower” utes.
This will also include the new Mitsubishi ASX small SUV (above), set to be twinned with the Renault Captur city SUV, and due to launch in Europe in early 2023 (with an Australian launch yet to be locked in). Click here for more details on that model.
In the electric vehicle space, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance plans to reduce battery costs by 50 per cent by 2026, increasing to 80 per cent by 2028 – and aims to increase annual battery production to 220GWh by 2030 (equivalent to 4.4 million Nissan Leaf electric hatchbacks).
Next-generation solid-state batteries are planned to be introduced in mid-2028, which the Alliance says will offer twice the energy density of today’s lithium-ion packs, with one third of the charging time.
At an unspecified point after their introduction, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi say the solid-state packs will cost only $US65 ($AU92) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – achieving “cost parity” with internal-combustion engined cars (in other words, when the cost of building an electric car matches that of a petrol/diesel vehicle).
The Alliance has also announced the ‘Alliance Cloud’, a “best-in-class digital experience” around advanced semi-autonomous driving systems and infotainment – though specific details of what the Cloud will entail are yet to be revealed.
The car makers aim to have “more than 10 million vehicles on the road across 45 Alliance models equipped with [semi-]autonomous driving systems” by 2026.
“The Alliance will launch its first full software defined vehicle by 2025. With this vehicle, the Alliance will improve its cars Over The Air performance throughout their life cycle. This means value for customers with the integration of their car into their digital ecosystem to offering a personalised experience, new enhanced services, and reduced maintenance costs,” the companies say.
How Australia will fit into the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s future plans remains to be seen.