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What started as a rumor in Japanese media earlier this week has now been officially confirmed. Honda and Nissan have signed a memorandum of understanding for a feasibility study to explore the potential of jointly developed electric vehicles. If the two automakers reach an agreement, the partnership could also include working together on software.

The collaboration is still in its infancy but if Nissan and Honda do ink a deal, the plan is to channel efforts into “automotive software platforms, core components related to EVs, and complementary products.” The software part could pertain to safety and/or autonomous driving technologies since the press release published by both companies talks about “zero traffic-accident fatalities.” It also includes a shared goal of reaching carbon neutrality.

According to a report published by Nikkei Asia a few days ago, Nissan and Honda want to develop a new platform exclusively intended for electric vehicles. The collaboration could extend to engineering EVs together. In addition, the Japanese automakers could pool money to buy a common EV powertrain and batteries.

A tie-up would not only speed up development but also bring R&D costs down. Honda is no longer working with General Motors to co-develop affordable electric crossovers, so the fact it’s seeking a new partner is no surprise. The collaboration with GM is likely to be limited to the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX on the Ultium platform.

Nissan has a partner in Renault when it comes to EVs and other types of vehicles. The next-generation Micra will be heavily based on the reborn Renault 5. It’s going to use about 80 percent of the same parts and will enter production in 2026 at Renault’s Douai factory in northern France.

With Chinese competition intensifying while the Volkswagen Group and Stellantis are doubling down on EVs, Nissan and Honda don’t want to trail behind. However, since the two have just signed an MoU, it means a jointly developed platform/car is unlikely to come out in the next few years, provided a final deal is agreed upon.

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