Daimler to Expand Agreement with Renault/Nissan to Include Electric Motors, Batteries and Powertrains

In an interview with Reuters, Thomas Weber, Daimler’s head of research, said that the company will expand its cooperation with Renault and Nissan to “include all three partners as far as electric motors, batteries and powertrains are concerned.

In April, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG announced a broad strategic cooperation that also involves equity exchanges that result in giving the Renault-Nissan Alliance a 3.1% stake in Daimler—1.55% for each of the two partners—and Daimler a 3.1% stake in Renault and a 3.1% stake in Nissan. (Earlier post.)

The new partners have begun implementing specific projects in the areas of a new common architecture for small vehicles; engines; and light commercial vehicles. In addition to the immediate projects, the partners said they would explore other potential areas of collaboration, including opportunities to co-develop technologies relating to electric vehicles and batteries.

“We won’t be able to meet the target of 95 grams CO2 in 2020 without electric vehicles with batteries and fuel cells,” Weber said in the interview conducted last Thursday. But the new technology is still in its infancy and “it won’t be easy to then also earn money with these cars,’ Weber added.

That’s why Daimler has decided to broaden its existing partnership with Renault and Nissan, hoping to cut costs by building scale. Daimler benefits from economies of scale for small three- and four-cylinder engines, Weber said. “We would have reached quantities of about 500,000 engines at most on our own. Together with Renault we are talking about several million.”

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