Yet another major automaker, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, announces an effort to produce electric vehicles in China following the country’s aggressive goals to electrify its rapidly growing fleet.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance’s joint-venture is called eGT New Energy Automotive Co and it’s in partnership with the Dongfeng Motor Group, a Chinese automaker.
Renault will hold 25 percent of eGT, Nissan will hold 25 percent and Dongfeng the remaining 50 percent.
Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, commented on the announcement today:
“The establishment of the new joint venture with Dongfeng confirms our common commitment to develop competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market. We are confident to meet the expectations of the Chinese customers and to strengthen our global electric vehicle leadership position.”
Dongfeng’s factory in Shiyan, which has a production capacity of 120,000 vehicles per year, will support the new joint-venture, which they expect will start new EVs under their brand and developed by the new joint-venture in 2019.
As we previously reported, those recent announcements of joint-ventures from major automakers to produce electric vehicles in China are motivated by the country’s aggressive ZEV mandate. Automakers need zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to represent 8% of new car sales as soon as 2018 and quickly ramp up to 12% by 2020.
They want to keep their access to the world’s largest automotive market and aside from killing the mandate, producing EVs in the country is going to be the only way to keep it.
Despite their leadership in EVs around the world, the Renault-Nissan Alliance was among the group of virtually all automakers (except for Tesla) who have asked China to slow down their electric car mandate through their industry lobbying group, but the government seems determined to go forward with its plan.
The current dangerous levels of air pollution often reaching the country’s megacities are certainly creating a sense of urgency that the auto industry’s lobbying effort doesn’t seem to be able to beat.