Nissan May Explore EV Collaboration With Honda

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According to sources familiar with the matter, Nissan Motor is exploring a potential collaboration with Honda Motor in the electric vehicle (EV) sector. This collaboration could encompass joint procurement and development efforts.

Nissan is considering adopting a unified EV powertrain, an e-axle, for which the two automakers might collaborate on purchasing, designing and developing a shared EV platform. Internal discussions at Nissan are still in preliminary stages, and Honda’s position on the partnership is unclear. While specific areas of cooperation have not been determined, there is speculation that the collaboration could include the introduction of a common powertrain, joint procurement, and development of a common platform, and potentially extend to battery procurement and joint development of electric vehicles.

The two companies may consider joint battery procurement and vehicle development. This potential partnership aims to reduce EVs’ costs as competition intensifies, particularly with the emergence of Chinese manufacturers. Companies like BYD have an advantage due to their ability to internally source components such as batteries, which constitute a significant portion of an electric vehicle’s cost.

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In China, electric models represent approximately 20% of sales, and the growth of EVs has propelled the country to surpass Japan as the world’s largest vehicle exporter by volume last year.

Japanese automakers have slowly transitioned from hybrids to EVs, making up only 2% of their domestic market. They face the challenge of Chinese electric vehicles gaining traction in major markets such as Southeast Asia. The proposed partnership between Nissan and Honda aims to leverage the resources of both carmakers more efficiently to compete more effectively on cost.

Nissan initiated mass production of the Leaf EV in 2010 and currently offers three electric models. Meanwhile, Honda had planned to develop an entry-level EV with General Motors and launch it as early as 2027, but it cancelled that project last year. To catch up, Honda has been increasing its in-house development of EVs.

Nissan, which has a longstanding alliance with French automaker Renault, is planning to sign a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Honda. Nissan already collaborates with Renault on EVs, mainly in Europe, and has committed to investing up to 600 million euros in Renault’s new electric vehicle entity, Ampere. However, the two companies reduced the scope of their alliance last year to allow for a more agile partnership, with Renault signing agreements with new partners such as China’s Geely.

Nissan and Honda lost market share in China last year amid intense competition from BYD and other electric vehicle makers, and there are reports that they may reduce production in the country.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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