Japanese automaker, Nissan has announced the investment into it fleet $17.6 billion over the next five years.
The Yokohama based company premised its decision on the need to develop a cheaper, more powerful battery to boost its electric vehicle lineup.
According to Makoto Uchida, the chief executive of Nissan, 15 new electric vehicles will be available by 2021 with the automobile manufacturer aiming for a 50% “electrification” of the company’s model lineup, under what Uchida termed the “Nissan Ambition 2030” long-term plan. The electrified vehicles in this case are not just electric vehicles but hybrids and other environmentally friendly models.
Uchida noted that the move is with the main focus on electric vehicles, to help cut emissions and meet various customers’ needs with the Nissan also planning to reduce emissions in its factories.
Nissan has not too long been embroiled in a scandal that involved its former Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested for various financial misconduct charges, with the controversy affecting the image fortune of the company, who has been struggling to put the scandal behind it and move on.
Although Uchida in his statement did not explicitly mention the scandal but made a subtle reference to it when he said past mistakes won’t be repeated at Nissan.
Nissan’s “electrification” is hinged on the development of a new ASSB, or an all solid state battery being dubbed as improvement in current batteries in use as it is cheaper and has the capacity to generate more power.
One advantage of the smaller batteries is that electric power trains can now be readily used in trucks, vans and other heavier vehicles without hassles, with Nissan announcing that the ASSB will be in mass production by the year 2028.
Uchida asserted that as a result of the battery innovation to levels comparable to regular gasoline cars, the price of electric vehicles will reduce.
“Nissan has emerged from a crisis and is ready to make a new start,” he said.
Many renowned global automakers are shifting their production to electric vehicles, with concerns about climate change and sustainability rising with many consumers demanding more safety features for the vehicles.
Nissan will be hiring 3,000 engineers to strengthen its research, including digital technology for vehicles, according to Uchida. This move would further cement its place in the list of top automakers in the world.
The global chips shortage occasioned with the lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected Nissan, with the multinational automobile manufacturer projecting a return to profitability for the fiscal year through March 2022 after two straight years of recorded losses.