Daimler is set to expand its collaboration with Renault-Nissan to include electric vehicles, according to the company’s R&D chief.
Thomas Weber told Reuters the partnership “will be expanded to include all three partners as far as electric motors, batteries and powertrains are concerned”.
All three companies are keen to invest in electric car technology as environmental regulations become more stringent. European legislation states an overall level of around 95g/km CO2 by 2020 for new cars, a target that Weber thinks will be difficult to achieve without using alternative fuels.
Weber said that due to current technology restrictions, making these cars will not be profitable for companies unless they work together to achieve economies of scale.
Weber said: "We would have reached quantities of about 500,000 engines at most on our own. Together with Renault we are talking about several million."
The tie-in between Daimler and Renault, which involves Mercedes, Nissan, Smart and Infiniti, was signed in April of this year.
All the companies involved are co-operating on platform and drivetrain sharing. So far this has focused on the next-generation Smart Forfour and Renault Twingo models.