Renault-Nissan has joined Tesla, Volkswagen, General Motors
and Ford in the competition to deliver electric
vehicles in China.
Beijing is about to introduce new rules, facilitating a greater proportion of electric vehicles, in a bid to counter pollution.
Renault-Nissan’s cars will be built through a new venture with local firm Dongfeng Motor. The venture, eGT New Energy Automotive Co, will develop an electric mini-SUV to go into production in 2019. The vehicles will be sold under the partners’ own brands.
China wants electric battery cars and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicle sales by 2025.
The proposals, due to take effect as early as next year, would require 8 per cent of automakers’ sales to be battery electric or plug-in hybrids, rising to 12 per cent in 2020.
Earlier this month Ford
said it was exploring a joint venture with carmaker Anhui Zotye Automobile
Co to build electric vehicles under a new brand, in competition with China
manufacturing plans previously announced by Tesla,
Volkswagen and General Motors.
Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said the move “confirms our common commitment to develop competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market”.
Ghosn has previously discussed plans to “change the game” with a low-cost electric car priced below $8,000 after Chinese incentives, and ultimately without them.