Nissan and Renault have decided to renew their partnership, though with different terms and goals. Based on the new deal, Nissan is investing in Renault's EV division to develop a more comprehensive electric car lineup going forward.
Nissan is sort of a household name in the EV space, even though it's only produced and sold the Leaf electric hatchback in the States. The Leaf has been around forever, and while many may argue it has never been a top-notch EV, it has remained popular in the realm of practical, affordable, and commuter-friendly EVs, and it has stood the test of time.
Since Nissan got the EV ball rolling so early with the Leaf, you would think it would have risen to be a leader in the space over the years. However, it's just finally bringing its second electric vehicle to the US market this year, in the Ariya crossover (pictured above).
Nissan has brought some new EVs to market at home in Japan, and it has other plans for the future. However, it has only ever offered one model in the US, and now it will be selling two EVs simultaneously on our shores.
The new partnership within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Group works to make Nissan and Renault more equal and has a goal of expanding Nissan's focus on EVs. The Japanese automaker is taking a 15% stake in Renault's electric vehicle development unit, known as "Ampere," with the intent to grow its EV lineup across the globe. Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida shared with Reuters, via Teslarati:
“We regard Ampere as an enabler for Nissan to participate in new business opportunities in Europe."
According to Teslarati, Nissan and Renault's relationship may have been a bit strained over the years. While the latter was the controlling brand and helped bail Nissan out in the past, Nissan surpassed Renault in global sales. Now, Nissan has more revenue coming in to direct toward its EV future.
The rekindled and revamped partnership will allow Nissan greater access to the EV research and development it likely needs to finally expand its future footprint in the space. In addition, Nissan may be able to put its name on Renault's current and future EVs and sell them in different markets around the world.