Following in the footsteps of other automakers, such as Volvo, Volkswagen, GM or Mercedes, Nissan is announcing a plan to cut most funding for new internal combustion engines. The company will still develop the engines it already has, especially in order to comply with the stringent Euro 7 emissions regulations coming in 2025.
Nikkei reports that it is Euro 7 specifically that has prompted Nissan to announce this strategy change. The news outlet writes that
In Europe, new Euro 7 emissions standards are on track to go into effect as early as 2025. Nissan has determined these rules will raise the cost of developing internal combustion engines to unsustainable levels.
Nissan will phase out development of gasoline engines for the Chinese and Japanese markets. But it will continue to develop engines for hybrid vehicles.
With this move, Nissan will reallocate most of the 500 billion yen ($4.3-billion) it spends annually on ICE R&D towards electric powertrain development. However, the manufacturer has announced that it won’t immediately start closing engine manufacturing plants and laying workers off, saying it intends to slowly transition and relocated the workforce over time.
This all applies to Nissan’s major markets except the United States, although even here there’s an asterisk. In the US, the automaker wants to continue gas engine development, but only for large SUVs and trucks, not its passenger cars.
Nissan currently only sells the Leaf as a full BEV in the US. The hugely important Ariya electric crossover is expected to make its US debut this fall, but the company has so far not outlined any clear plans for what comes after it. We know that the Leaf’s replacement will be another crossover, expected to arrive in 2025.
It is previewed by one of the four electric concepts that Nissan showed last year. The other three are a pickup, a sporty convertible and another (smaller and boxier) crossover. They are among the 15 new EVs that the automaker has promised to launch by 2030.