Nissan reportedly mulls partnership with Honda on EVs

Nissan and Honda, both slow to roll out electric vehicles, may partner to help speed up development and lower costs of the zero-emission vehicles, according to Japanese media.

Citing sources at Nissan, Nikkei reported on Thursday that the automaker is in early talks with Honda regarding a partnership on EVs, which could result in joint development and procurement.

One specific technology mentioned in the report was a common electric drive unit. These are typically modular units that sit at an axle, and combine an electric motor with an inverter and transmission.

According to the sources, the primary goal is to reduce costs to help the automakers compete with cheaper EVs being launched by Chinese brands. China’s EV leadership helped the country overtake Japan last year to become the world’s largest exporter of vehicles.

2024 Honda Prologue

Honda already formed a partnership with General Motors to accelerate the development of EVs for North America. The partnership has resulted in the 2024 Acura ZDX and 2024 Honda Prologue SUVs which start sales later this year. Honda has also joined forces with Sony to establish the global EV brand Afeela which will launch its first vehicle in North America in 2026.

Nissan is part of an alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, though neither of those brands have a strong footing in the key markets of the U.S. and China, where Nissan stands to benefit most from launching EVs.

Another option for Nissan may be a partnership with cash-strapped EV startup Fisker. Reuters earlier this month reported that Nissan is in talks with Fisker about an investment to gain access to the platform of Fisker’s planned Alaska pickup truck. According to Reuters’ sources, Nissan may even built the Alaska for Fisker. Neither automaker has confirmed the talks though Fisker has said it is in talks with a major automaker.

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