Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi are going all-in on EVs. The trio announced plans to release 35 new electric models globally by 2030, ranging from Japan-only kei cars to commercial vehicles, and they sketched out plans to develop next-generation solid-state batteries.
The three carmakers will leverage the benefits of economies of scale to keep development and production costs in check. Many of the Alliance’s models already ride on a common platform; the Nissan Sentra shares its bones with the third-generation Renault Scénic. Looking ahead, the plan is to build 80% of the cars in the group’s global portfolio on common architectures. Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi are massive companies with a wide lineup of models, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the strategy focuses on five basic modular platforms.
CMF-AEV will be for so-called affordable electric cars. KEI-EV will be primarily for kei cars, LCV will underpin commercial vehicles, and CMF-EV was designed to underpin mainstream models including the Ariya. Finally, the CMF-BEV platform will underpin about 250,000 electric cars annually starting in 2024. These include the production version of the retro-styled 5 Prototype introduced in January 2021, at least one car assigned to the Alpine brand, and a replacement for the Micra (previewed above) that will be engineered and built by Renault.
Most of these cars will be equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack; that’s likely going to remain the best way to power an electric car in the coming years. However, Nissan has been tasked with developing solid-state battery technology that promises to greatly reduce charging times. A solid state battery is tentatively scheduled to enter production by the middle of 2028, though it’s too early to tell which model(s) will inaugurate it.
Digital services will play a significant role in the Alliance’s future lineup as well. By 2026, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to connect 25 million cars to their cloud and over 10 million vehicles fitted with “autonomous driving systems” (a vague term that wasn’t defined).
All told, these investments will cost the group at least €23 billion (around $26 billion at the current conversion rate) in the next five years.
What does this mean for America?
While the odds of seeing the Micra’s replacement turn a wheel in New York City are relatively low, it’s reasonable to assume that many of the Alliance’s upcoming cars will receive clearance to travel to the United States — including some that may not be electric. Mitsubishi will soon receive a pair of Renault-based models in order to increase its presence in Europe. One will replace the ASX, which is known as the Outlander Sport in the United States. It will likely be related to the Renault Captur, and it’s one that may end up in showrooms on our shores.