Carmakers go full EV

The corporate world of legacy carmakers is embracing the future of electric vehicles (EV). 

What happened: After two decades of negotiating an uneasy alliance between Nissan and French automaker Renault, the companies have found common ground—Renault will give up some of its Nissan shares in exchange for Nissan’s expertise and investment in its EVs.

  • After bailing out Nissan in 1999, Renault had built up a 43% stake in the Japanese car maker. The new deal will see each company hold 15% of the other and grant Nissan new voting rights at Renault—in other words, a say in its decision-making.

Why it matters: 2023 will bring new EVs from brands like BMW, Audi, Jeep, and Ford—not to mention an all-electric DeLorean to take us back to the future. Settling a yearslong dispute aims to set up Nissan and Renault to join forces and take a larger share of the EV pie. 

  • From a consumer standpoint, analysts expect the market to enter a “shake-out” phase in which more competition means shorter wait times and lower prices.

Yes, but: Not everyone’s on board. Toyota’s CEO, a longtime skeptic of electrification, is stepping down, admitting that he belongs “to the older generation” when it comes to things like EVs. Toyota’s new boss, meanwhile, says EVs will be part of the picture going forward.

Zoom out: It’s an opportune moment to try and claw some market share away from Tesla, which “faces a darker macro in 2023 with fierce competition coming from all angles,” according to one analyst. Small EV startups and big automakers alike are now wheeling in.