Japanese rival Honda Motor Co., by contrast, epitomizes the countervailing strategy of other competitors making more aggressive moves to completely dump internal combustion. Honda has pledged to rely solely on battery electrics and fuel cell vehicles by 2040.
“The role of companies to address societal needs is increasingly heightened,” Uchida said. “With Nissan Ambition 2030, we will drive the new age of electrification, advance technologies to reduce carbon footprint and pursue new business opportunities. We want to transform Nissan to become a sustainable company that is truly needed by customers and society.”
Nissan was among the world’s EV pioneers, when it introduced the Leaf hatchback more than a decade ago as the world’s first affordable, mass-produced EV. But it has lost ground in the global EV race as rivals leapfrog it in investment and technology.
Nissan Ambition 2030 could put the Japanese car company back into contention.
Under the plan, Nissan wants to launch solid-state batteries by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2029, and ready a pilot plant in Yokohama, Japan, as early as the fiscal year ending March 31, 2025.
“Batteries will be the key to transition,” Uchida said. “With batteries made smaller and thinner, we can offer flexible layouts, with more dynamic performance, expanding to larger segments, like pickup trucks.”
Nissan envisions the breakthrough batteries as slashing the recharging time to one-third that of current batteries while knocking down costs to $75 per kilowatt-hour, below the critical $100 level, by the fiscal year ending March 2029.
Nissan sees further cost gains for solid-state batteries to a level around $65 and eyes eventual price parity between EVs and gasoline vehicles, though it offered no timeframe.
“Battery cost reductions will drastically change the dynamics of EV pricing,” COO Ashwani Gupta said. “We are redefining the role of the car.”