Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to invest $1B in new technologies

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THE Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which adopted the name in September 2017, on Jan. 12 announced the formation of a new corporate venture capital fund meant to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years on “new mobility” concepts.

Called Venture Alliance, the fund will invest in start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology companies focused on developing electric vehicles, autonomous systems, connectivity and artificial intelligence. It has allotted $200 million for investments this year.

The automotive group said Alliance Ventures is “set to become the largest corporate venture capital fund” in the car industry over its five-year run, ending in 2022.

Alliance Ventures’ first investment will be in Ionic Materials, a US-based company developing solid-state, cobalt-free battery materials, the auto group said. It noted Ionic’s solid polymer electrolyte content improves the performance and lowers the cost of high-energy batteries used in vehicles, as well as in multiple other applications.

Alliance Ventures is headed by François Dossa, who has served as chief executive of Nissan Brazil.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi in 2017 sold more than 10 million vehicles through 10 separate brands. The group said its initiatives, like Alliance Ventures, are meant to double their annualized synergies to generate more than $12 billion by the end of 2022. Combined revenues of its member companies will reach $240 billion by then, with annual vehicle sales expected to exceed 14 million.

The group added it would have launched 12 purely electric vehicles by 2022.