Future electric vehicle offerings from Renault and Nissan will share a common platform — with powertrains and basic “underpinnings” being the same, but styling and optioning being different — going by recent comments from the senior vice president of Renault-Nissan BV (the strategic management unit).
The comments, made by Arnaud Deboeuf, in an interview with Automotive News, follow on earlier ones from Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn concerning a push for greater cooperation between the two auto manufacturers, particularly with regard to vehicle architecture and core components — which could well lead to cost savings, owing to the impact of economies of scale.
This compares to the situation now, where the Nissan Leaf EV and the Renault Zoe EV are fundamentally different offerings, despite the potential there for production synergies.
Green Car Reports provides more: “Deboeuf said the converged Leaf and Zoe will compete in the same segment, but did not say whether the Leaf would shrink to a subcompact or the Zoe would grow to match the current Leaf’s size. … In September, Nissan was reported to be considering a subcompact electric car that shared underpinnings with the Zoe. It would slot below the Leaf, but not directly replace it. While the next generation of Leaf and Zoe will share powertrains, no decision has been made as to whether they will use lithium-ion battery cells from the same source.”
That would seem a bit strange considering the potential synergies, until one considers possible supply limitations. The exact situation with regard to the ability for battery manufacturers to rapidly ramp up production is an unknown, even though most major manufacturers are claiming that it won’t be a real issue.