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Renault and Nissan establish Shanghai innovation hub for EV production

The hub will develop technologies for the Alliance 2022 plan to develop zero-emission vehicles

French carmaker Renault is working in collaboration with Japan’s Nissan to launch a joint innovation research and development hub in China to accelerate technology development for new mobility.

The Alliance Automotive Research and Development, which previously opened similar labs in the US’s Silicon Valley and in Tel Aviv, will refer to itself as Alliance Innovation Lab Shanghai, and it will focus on developing technology for autonomous drive, connected and electric vehicles.

Technologies developed in the hub, which is hoped will allow the companies to open up innovation opportunities with Chinese start-ups and other partners, will be used globally by both carmakers, which will hold 50% of this new entity.

Alliance SVP for research and advanced engineering Takao Asami commented on the importance of locating this new facility in Shanghai: “China is not only the world’s largest auto market but is also at the leading edge of new technologies that will change the face of future mobility. From a strategic point of view, it is vital that the Alliance has a development hub in this thriving market, where it sold more vehicles than anywhere else in 2018. The knowledge and skills obtained here will be leveraged not just inside China but globally, helping to contribute to the demanding objectives of our Alliance 2022 mid-term plan.”

Included in the Alliance 2022 mid-term plan is the construction of 12 new zero-emission EVs, which are expected to be launched within three years, and the launch 40 vehicles, which are to be introduced with different levels of autonomy. The Alliance is also looking to commit to operating robo-vehicle ride-hailing mobility services.

Alliance global director responsible for the AIL-SH Kenju Kobayashi added the venture will benefit from local expertise: “By bringing together the talents of the Alliance with the range of expertise found in Shanghai and across China, we will be able to aggressively pursue open innovation that transcends industry boundaries and rapidly develop technologies driving the business growth of Alliance members.”

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