Nissan And Honda Announce EV Partnership Feasibility Study

Nissan could team up with Honda in a move that would see the two Japanese companies develop joint electric vehicle procurement and development programmes.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding under which they will begin a feasibility study for a strategic partnership in “vehicle electrification and intelligence”, adding that the scope of the feasibility study includes automotive software platforms, core components related to EVs, and complementary products.

Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported yesterday that the two companies are said to be developing ways to reduce EV costs amid growing competition from Chinese vehicle manufacturers such as BYD, which produces its own EV components, including batteries. The move is aimed at combating growing Chinese EV sales in major markets such as South-East Asia.

Nikkei reported that Nissan wants to use a common EV powertrain and believes it could work with Honda on purchasing, as well as designing and developing a shared EV platform.

“It is important to prepare for the increasing pace of transformation in mobility in the mid-to-long-term, and it is significant that we have reached this agreement based on a mutual understanding that Honda and Nissan face common challenges. We look forward to further discussions and aim to find win-wins for sustainable growth,” said Makoto Uchida, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Company.

“In this period of once-in-a-century transformation in the automotive industry, we will examine the potential for partnership between Nissan and Honda,” said Toshihiro Mibe, President and CEO of Honda Motor Company. “Our study criteria will be whether the synergy of the technologies and knowledge that our companies have cultivated will enable us to become industry leaders by creating new value for the automotive industry.”

However, in what may be a sign the two companies have much work to do to bridge their conflicting corporate cultures and reach a consensus, the two CEOs ignored journalist calls to shake hands for photos. After an awkward pause, Mibe eventually said that time may come if an agreement is reached.

Nissan currently works with its alliance partner Renault on EVs, with the next electric Micra to share the same architecture as the new Renault Five and be built in the same French plant.

Japanese vehicle manufacturers have been slow to transition from hybrids to EVs, which account for only two per cent of the Japanese market. In China, EVs make up around 20 per cent, helping the country become the world’s largest vehicle exporter by volume in 2023.

Last year, Honda cancelled plans to develop an entry-level EV with General Motors, prompting it to increase in-house EV development.