The paired-up automotive giants of Daimler and Renault-Nissan have agreed to work together on electric-vehicle technology as part of the two sides' fledgling cooperation.
The terms of the original agreement included working together on the next-generation Smart Fortwo and Renault Twingo but the results may not be enough to satiate demanding fuel economy and carbon emissions regulations. European standards expect automakers to operate with an average emissions target of 0.34 pound per mile by 2020, an objective that demands zero-emissions vehicles.
"We won't be able to meet the target of 95 grams CO2 in 2020 without electric vehicles with batteries and fuel cells," said Thomas Weber, Daimler's research chief.
Daimler's overall fleet emissions last year is reported to be around 0.57 pound per mile and the mandated level for 2012 is already pegged under 0.50 pound per mile. Fines are imposed should automakers exceed the fleet emissions limit.
Because EV technology still has a lengthy road ahead in terms of research and development, the partnership with Renault and Nissan should help with scaling. The two parties were previously going separate paths on EV batteries, which will soon be included in the pact alongside jointly developed electric motors and powertrains. Daimler hopes to sell 150,000 to 200,000 zero-emission vehicles in Europe by 2020.
On the Renault-Nissan side, we already know about the Nissan Leaf. The first-generation electric car could benefit from future revisions as a result of shared technology and growing appeal to a wider audience range.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)