The eGT New Energy Automotive Co will develop a small electric SUV which will enter production in 2019 and will be manufactured by Dongfeng Motor. The Chinese company already produces conventional vehicles with Renault and Nissan.
The biggest automobile market in the world, China wants all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicles sales by 2025. Renault-Nissan leads the modern electric car segment with its best selling Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.
Renault and Nissan will each own 25 percent of the joint venture, and Dongfeng will hold the remaining 50 percent. China's push for electric vehicles has changed the mindset of several automakers who were reluctant to invest on EVs.
Previously, Ford had stated that it was exploring a joint venture with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co to build electric vehicles under a new brand. Toyota is also investing on electrification of vehicles to cater China's demand.
Chairman of Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn said, "Renault-Nissan's move confirms our common commitment to develop competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market." The EV project will be headed by Gerard Detourbet who developed the Kwid crossover hatchback for India.
Electric vehicles are considered as the future of mobility due to the stricter emission norms set to be implemented around the world. Renault-Nissan alliance will use its experience to develop a new electric small SUV for the Chinese market.