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TOKYO: The Nissan auto alliance said Thursday it will invest 23 billion euros ($25.7 billion) in electric vehicles over the next five years, marking the latest massive cash injection into the fast-growing sector by the auto industry.

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors said the latest outlay followed more than 10 billion euros already spent on its “offensive strategy in electrification”, promising 35 new electric models by 2030.

Major global carmakers are increasingly prioritising electric and hybrid vehicles as concern about climate change grows. At present, around 10 percent of European car sales are EVs, but the US figure is just two percent.

“The three member companies have defined a common roadmap towards 2030, sharing investments in future electrification and connectivity projects,” alliance chair Jean-Dominique Senard said in a statement.

“Together, we are making the difference for a new and global sustainable future.”

To achieve its goals, the alliance said it aimed to increase co-operation on common platforms from 60 percent to 80 percent of its models by 2026.

The companies also announced a goal of reaching a total electric vehicle battery production capacity of 220 Gigawatt hours by the end of the decade, with Japan’s Nissan tasked with leading the development of solid-state battery technology.

Nissan has been battered by a series of problems in recent years, from weak demand even before the pandemic, to the fallout from the arrest and subsequent escape of former boss Carlos Ghosn.

After falling behind rivals during the Covid crisis, it has started to claw its way back, tripling its full-year net profit forecast in November despite the impact of a global chip shortage.

Ghosn’s arrest exposed rifts in Nissan’s alliance with Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors and France’s Renault, but the firm’s number two Ashwani Gupta told AFP last year the partnership was “stronger now” and had helped the three firms weather the chip crisis and supply shortages.

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