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Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance to roll out 12 new EVs by 2022

The alliance of Nissan Motor Co., Renault S.A. and Mitsubishi
Motors Corp. will roll out 12 new electric vehicles by 2022 to
maintain its lead in the growing market for zero-emission cars,
alliance chief executive Carlos Ghosn said Friday.

Ghosn said the alliance, which added Mitsubishi Motors earlier
this year through a capital injection by Nissan, aims to sell 14
million vehicles in 2022, about 1.4-fold from the current level.

With the expanded lineup of EVs, battery-powered cars including
hybrids are expected to make up 30 percent of the alliance's annual
vehicle sales, Ghosn said.

"I am glad that today, the alliance is a leader in electric
cars...and we intend to continue to fight on this field," Ghosn said
during a press conference live-streamed from Paris.

Ghosn, who is also CEO of Renault, stressed that while consumers
have been slow to adopt EVs because of high prices and restricted
driving distance per charge, stricter emission regulations will see
EVs race past combustion-engine cars in the not-so-distant future.

"A lot of the technology we know and we mastered, we're going to
have to little by little abandon them and this will be driven not so
much by consumer demand (but) mainly by very strict emissions
regulations that you are seeing."

Both France and Britain plan to ban the sale of gasoline and
diesel-powered cars by 2040 and China, the world's biggest car
market, is mulling when to do the same.

Rival automakers including Sweden's Volvo Car Corp. and
Germany's Volkswagen Group have laid out plans to vastly expand their
EV lineups to ensure they aren't locked out of the competition.

The alliance of the three automakers sold a combined 5.27
million vehicles in the January-June period, surpassing Volkswagen
and Toyota Motor Corp. for the first time in the first six months of
the year.

"Although being number one in unit sales is not a goal, it does
create advantages. Our scale and reach means we can attract the best
partners...giving us the competitive edge," Ghosn said.

Asked about the possibility of adding more members to the
alliance, he indicated that would happen "without any doubt."

"When you take a look at the cost of developing everything we
told you today, I don't think any one company can do it by itself,"
he said.

He also outlined plans to introduce self-driving versions of at
least 40 models of cars by 2022. The first model, set to come out
next year, will be ready for use on expressways with continued
monitoring by a driver, followed by limited autonomy on city streets
and near-full autonomy on expressways in 2020. (Sept. 15)