Nissan announced a 2 billion yen ($ 17.7 billion) vehicle electrification plan with the aim of “democratizing” battery-powered cars and asserting its dominance over incumbent and new global automakers. newcomers such as Tesla.
Delivering a long-term strategy that it dubbed Nissan Ambition 2030, the Japanese automaker did not predict an end to its production of internal combustion engine vehicles – an announcement that some analysts say could be imminent.
But the company has set a target of electric vehicle sales of 75% of its sales in Europe by fiscal 2026 and 40% of its sales in the United States by 2030.
Nissan’s plan includes the proposed introduction of 23 âelectrifiedâ vehicle models by 2030, of which 15 are fully electric. The rest would be hybrids or come under the Nissan âe-powerâ designation of vehicles driven by a battery but recharged via a gasoline engine.
Previously announced elements of the strategy included a $ 1.4 billion investment in the UK that will help convert Nissan’s Sunderland operations into a hub for the production of electric vehicles.
Nissan chief executive Makoto Uchida said the plan was the result of an end to the company’s woes in recent years, a renewed sense of stable earnings and fundamental changes in the auto market.
âNissan has come out of the crisis and is ready to make a fresh start,â Uchida said.
Nissan shares fell 4.5% on Monday, making it the worst result of the day among Japan’s three major automakers. The company is also recovering from a scandal involving former boss Carlos Ghosn, which Uchida did not mention.
The ambitions of the automaker also depend on a bet on the success of its solid-state battery technology. ASSBs offer greater range and greater power density – a measure of the amount of energy that can be discharged from a battery. Automakers and investors alike approve of their lower costs, superior performance, and increased safety, but ASSBs cannot yet be reliably delivered in a mass market format.
In addition to building a pilot plant for ASSB devices over the next three years, Nissan plans to deliver the technology in a consumer electric vehicle by the fiscal year ending March 2029.
Other automakers, including powerful national rival Nissan, Toyota, are in a hotly contested race for a fully solid-state battery, a potentially transformational technology.
In the meantime, Uchida said, Nissan will continue to cut costs on existing lithium-ion batteries, which it says could be cut by 65% ââover the next eight years.
Nissan’s ambitions for electric vehicles have consistently exceeded those of its Japanese competitors, which have continued to target other technologies such as hydrogen and fuel cells.
Under Ghosn, Nissan launched into mass electric vehicles a decade ago with the introduction of its first-generation Leaf model. Competitors in the United States and Europe, including Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors, have since developed electric vehicles in recognition of rapidly growing global demand.
But not all of them have translated these ambitions into clear climate commitments. At the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow this month, only 11 automakers signed a declaration pledging to end fossil-fueled vehicles by 2040. Nissan, as well as Toyota, Honda and BMW don’t were not signatories.
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