TOKYO — On the surface, the negotiations over the Renault-Nissan alliance reboot are about preparing for the future by creating a next-generation electric vehicle spinoff that both partners will invest in.
But dig deeper, and the delicate talks involve another technology that is seemingly oh-so-yesterday: Old-school internal combustion engines are front and center in this bold EV overhaul.
After 20 years of working together on common technologies, partner Renault intends to cleave its internal combustion assets into a separate company that would stand alongside its newfangled EV business. And to do that, Renault and Nissan face the task of divvying up their shared intellectual property. One important question is how to handle key internal combustion systems.