Honda and Nissan point to partnership for EVs, hybrids, software



Nissan and Honda on Friday disclosed that they’re considering a “strategic partnership in the fields of vehicle electrification and intelligence.”

As of yet, the companies have only committed to a feasibility study for the idea, but such a partnership would aim to combine strengths and accelerate carbon-neutrality and safety efforts for both companies.

The initial study will include “automotive software platforms, core components related to EVs, and complementary products,” according to a release on what at this point remains a memorandum of understanding. 

Honda Saloon Concept - 2024 CES

Honda Saloon Concept – 2024 CES

Nissan Hyper Urban concept

Nissan Hyper Urban concept

CEO remarks provided in the release took a decidedly tentative note, underscoring that this is certainly not a done deal yet. “We look forward to further discussions and aim to find win-wins for sustainable growth,” said Nissan president Makoto Uchida, while Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe said that study criteria will be “whether the synergy of the technologies and knowledge that our companies have cultivated will enable us to become industry leaders by creating new value for the automotive industry.”

CEOs of Honda and Nissan study EV partnership - March 2024

CEOs of Honda and Nissan study EV partnership – March 2024

Both companies are looking for new strategic partners. Honda last year withdrew from a project that aimed to create a shared platform for millions of affordable EVs with GM across multiple models. “After we did some studies, we decided it would be very difficult to have a viable business,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe, at CES in January. GM moved on to a strategy that drops the separate small-car platform but resurrects the Chevy Bolt EV on a lower budget. In the meantime, Honda is discontinuing its retro-styled Honda E for Europe and for now offers the China-derived e:Ny1 crossover EV there.

On the software front, Honda has a joint venture with Sony that aims become a “software-oriented mobility tech company.” It’s due to release upcoming EVs, under the Afeela brand, that will share some Honda components but provide a Sony in-car experience.

A next-generation Nissan Leaf is in the works and due within a couple years, and with other potential smaller EVs in development it could be part of Nissan’s contribution. The automaker also plans larger Nissan and Infiniti EVs for assembly in Mississippi starting in 2026. It’s also been looking for EV partnerships, including a reported potential $400 million investment in Fisker for electric pickups that has not yet been confirmed by the company. Nissan’s alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi remains, too.  

Nissan Chill-Out concept

Nissan Chill-Out concept

On the other hand, the partnership’s mention of “electrification” hints that hybrids are part of this, and Honda’s two-motor hybrid system that can shift to a mpg-boosting parallel mode on the highway may already serve how Nissan aims to evolve its e-Power hybrid tech



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