The Renault, Nissan Motor Co, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp Alliance recently revealed their 2030 roadmap anchored in a shared vision of sustainability, electrification, and intelligent and connected mobility. It will be catalyzed by novel approaches like “Leader-Follower” that will fast-track technology, platform, and vehicle development and accelerate the transition to cleaner mobility. It’s bold but is it enough?
Five Common Platforms, 35 New EV Models
The scale and scope of the 2030 roadmap is massive. In addition to existing investments of €10 billion, an additional €23 billion will be pumped in over the next five years to promote the partners’ electrification agenda.
Currently, the Alliance has four common EV platforms. These include the CMF-AEV, the KEI-EV, and the LCV-EV Family platform. The CMF EV, advertised as a “benchmark platform for a new generation of electric vehicles,” is the “heart” of its EV strategy. By the end of the decade, the partners anticipate this modular platform to be the base of more than 15 models and five brands, churning out 1.5 million vehicles every year. Touted as the “most competitive compact platform,” the CMF-BEV platform will be introduced in 2024. By 2026, it is projected to support the manufacture of an estimated 250,000 vehicles covering four brands every year.
The goal is to have 35 new electric vehicle (EV) models supported by these five common EV platforms by 2030.
A Cohesive Battery Strategy
A cohesive battery strategy is also integral to the roadmap. It includes the choice of a common battery supplier for Renault and Nissan in major markets. In terms of capacity, the partners have announced that they will be aiming for 220 gigawatt (GWh) hours production capacity for their EVs by 2030. This is seen as yielding advantages in terms of scale and cost competitiveness while allowing battery costs to be halved by 2026 and further reduced by 65% by 2028.
In terms of battery technology, the focus is on a potential game-changer – the all-solid-state battery (ASSB). This technology is hyped as having twice the energy density, a third less the charging time, and half as costly as lithium-ion batteries.
Stepping up on Intelligent and Connected Mobility
By 2026, the Alliance is looking to have more than 10 million vehicles across 45 models mounted with autonomous driving systems. Add to this, over 25 million vehicles are planned to be connected to the cloud with the aim of enhancing in-vehicle digital experiences. Renault will be spearheading efforts to develop a common centralized electrical and electronic (E/E) architecture that combines electronics hardware and software applications together with the Google ecosystem. This underpins its bid to become the first global, mass-market OEM to incorporate the Google ecosystem in its vehicles. Also on the anvil is a full software-defined vehicle by 2025.
In the cutthroat world of automotive companies, the Alliance represents a unique example of a business model that hinges on cooperation and collaboration in order to further competitiveness.
Arguably, the journey to remaining competitive in a clean mobility ecosystem will be longer and harder for companies that take the individual route. A common roadmap and collaborative business model, therefore, make sense in terms of resource and investment optimization and accelerated product development.
We believe that the Leader-Follower strategy – where one company takes the lead in an area where it has proven competencies, supported by other member companies – will yield significant, sustained, and faster results. Nissan, for instance, is taking the lead with ASSB development, while Renault is steering the development of a common centralized E/E architecture.
The roadmap itself is cogent, comprehensive, and future-focused. The question is whether the trio can withstand the competition from EV-focused companies like Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid? Alternately, will they be able to hold their own against automakers like Toyota, Volkswagen, Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and GM that have made significant R&D and capital expenditure commitments towards EV and digital initiatives? This investment is, for example, dwarfed by Volkswagen’s five-year EV and digital investments totaling $83 billion.
However, the roadmap is forward-facing and ambitious as it strives to realize the “best of three worlds for a new future.”
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