French carmaker Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan are in talks to collaborate further and increase the savings they can achieve by using the same battery technology, according to Renault Chief Executive Officer Mr. Luca de Meo.
Batteries are one of the most costly aspects of producing electric cars, at a time when automakers are racing to be first in this segment. It’s also been one of the weakest points of a 20-year partnership for Renault and Nissan, with each sourcing batteries in various ways, including from South Korea’s LG for the French company.
Mr. De Meo remarked that “if we manage to come up with a very synergetic approach on batteries, the alliance will probably be one of the first to cross the threshold of a million cars sold on the same battery module.”
Collaboration on battery technology will be a major test of the Renault-Nissan alliance’s future, which has been shaken by the arrest of its architect-turned-fugitive Mr. Carlos Ghosn in 2018, and which new managers at both companies are attempting to get on track.
They face tough competition from Volkswagen and others, in the race to manufacture cleaner, electric vehicles at an affordable price for consumers. By 2030, their German competitor plans to build six battery factories in Europe alone.
Mr. De Meo said that Renault and Nissan are working closely on production and sourcing components.
“We are making a lot of decisions to communalize things battery modules for example is one of the things we’re discussing right now,” Mr. De Meo added.
Both companies are also struggling to meet their turnaround goals, with Nissan reporting a record annual loss, owing in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. That will drag on earnings at Renault, which owns a stake in the firm.