Japan’s Nissan, Honda to study partnership on EVs amid Chinese dominance

Japanese carmakers have struggled to keep up with their Chinese rivals in the fast-growing EV market.

Nissan and Honda are reportedly considering a partnership on EVs [File: Toby Melville/Reuters]

Japan’s Nissan and Honda have agreed to study the possibility of a partnership focused on electric vehicles, as the carmakers struggle to challenge the dominance of Chinese manufacturers.

Nissan and Honda’s potential partnership will focus on technology that helps accelerate efforts towards “carbon neutrality and zero traffic-accident fatalities,” the carmakers said on Friday.

The feasibility study will include components related to EVs and automotive software platforms, the companies said.

“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,” Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida said in a statement.

“We look forward to further discussions and aim to find win-wins for sustainable growth.”

Honda Director and President Toshihiro Mibe said the criteria for their partnership would 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”.

Nikkei Asia reported earlier that the carmakers could consider developing a common EV powertrain and shared EV platform.

Both Nissan and Honda have struggled to keep up with their Chinese EV rivals in their home market, the world’s largest.

Nissan’s output in China last fell 24 percent to about 793,000 vehicles, dropping below the one million mark for the first time in more than a decade.

Honda has laid out plans to increase its ratio of electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles to 100 percent of all sales by 2040.

Nissan already cooperates with France’s Renault on EVs, with its updated Micra to share the same architecture as the new Renault Five and be assembled in the same plant in Douai.

Chinese automakers account for more than 50 percent of the global market for EVs.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies