EVs Will Cost The Same As Gas Cars By 2030: Nissan

Photo: Nissan
Photo: Nissan

Good morning! It’s Monday, March 25, 2024, and this is The Morning Shift, your daily roundup of the top automotive headlines from around the world, in one place. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Nissan Will Cut Costs On Next-Gen EVs

The big things stopping many of us from making the switch to an electric vehicle is the limited charging infrastructure in many parts of the U.S. and the sky-high cost of buying a battery-powered car. While we’re still a ways off from a reliable charging network in America, thankfully the initial cost of an EV is coming down.

Now, Japanese automaker Nissan says that its ICE and battery powered cars will cost the same by 2030, it hopes. That’s according to Reuters, which outlined the firm’s new three-year plan, which includes releasing 16 new electric vehicles. As the site explains:


The Japanese automaker now aims to have electrified vehicles, which include hybrids, make up 60% of global sales by the end of the decade, up from a goal of 55% released in February 2023.

Of the 30 new models, 16 would be electrified, including eight all-battery powered vehicles and four plug-in hybrids, it said. Nissan plans to reduce the cost of the next generation of EVs by 30% to make them comparable to internal combustion engine models by 2030.

In the U.S. and Canada, Nissan expects to launch seven new models and to revamp 78% of its passenger vehicle line-up for the Nissan brand as well as launching e-power and plug-in hybrid models.

In an attempt to lower its development and production costs in the coming years, Nissan will work collaboratively with fellow Japanese automaker Honda on certain EV components, reports Reuters. The deal, which was announced earlier this month, would give Nissan capacity to increase its EV output and take the fight to Chinese automakers like BYD, which is churning out budget friendly EVs that are selling like hot cakes.

In another show of its intent to take the fight to BYD, Nissan will release four new-energy vehicles in China in the next three years. This will include fully-electric models and hybrid cars.

2nd Gear: Stellantis Lays Off 400 Workers

As automakers across America look for new ways to make even more money than they did last year, Jeep owner Stellantis has decided that the best option is to cut it work force and has laid off 400 workers at its sites across the country.

Stellantis laid off 400 employees across its engineering, technology and software departments, reports the Washington Post. The layoffs come as the Jeep and Chrysler owner attempts to improve “efficiency” across its sites. The Post reports:

“As the auto industry continues to face unprecedented uncertainties and heightened competitive pressures around the world, Stellantis continues to make the appropriate structural decisions across the enterprise to improve efficiency and optimize our cost structure,” the company said in a prepared statement Friday.

The cuts, effective March 31, amount to about 2% of Stellantis’ global workforce in engineering, technology and software, the statement said. Workers will get a separation package and transition help, the company said.

The trimming of its workforce comes as company boss Carlos Tavares repeatedly claimed that the development and production of new EVs will cost “40% more to make than those that run on gasoline,” reports the Post. As such, he has been adamant that his firm needs to cut costs across its operation in order to make EVs more affordable.

3rd Gear: American Lithium Production Isn’t Growing Fast Enough

The U.S. government announced its new electric vehicle targets last week, which will see automakers across the country ramp up their EV production in the coming decade. In order to do this, automakers need access to tons and tons of lithium required for EV batteries, but Reuters warns that lithium production in America might not be able to keep up.

According to the site, lithium producers across the U.S. are being held back by “confusing” legislation that is getting in the way of their expansion. This means that attempts from miners in America to “break China’s control” of the mineral are falling short. As Reuters explains:

Across Texas, Louisiana and other mineral-rich states, it’s unclear who owns the millions of metric tons of lithium locked in salty brines underneath U.S. soils, how the battery metal should be valued by regulators and who ultimately should pay to process it into a form usable by manufacturers.

These legal ambiguities are the latest impediment - alongside technical challenges and sagging commodity prices - to America’s plans to produce more of its own lithium and wean the country off foreign supplies, according to interviews with regulators from seven U.S. states, legal experts, politicians, landowners, investors, royalty firms, industry executives and consultants.

By 2030, Reuters estimates that global demand for lithium will outpace supply by 500,000 metric tons annually. This is particularly worrying as by that point, automakers around the world will have to stop selling new gas-powered cars in certain markets.

Here in the U.S., it’s also of concern to anyone hoping to lap up that sweet, sweet federal tax credit available on EVs. That’s because eligibility for the credit will soon be judged on just how American your electric car is, including where the batteries for it are assembled.

4th Gear: Tesla Opens Superchargers

After automakers like Ford, Stellantis and BMW all announced plans to adopt Tesla’s charging standard here in the U.S., the American EV maker has finally opened up its charging stations to non-Tesla vehicles.

Tesla’s Supercharger network of more than 20,000 high-speed charging ports across America has now opened its doors to Ford vehicles in America looking for a place to plug in, reports Automotive News. In the coming weeks, this will expand to include cars from companies like Audi and Rivian. As Automotive News explains:

As Tesla grants Supercharger access to more automakers in the coming weeks, EV adoption should improve across the country as driving range and charging concerns ease, analysts say. The opening of the Tesla network about doubles the number of fast chargers available to the general public.

“It basically takes the worry about charging out of the buying decision,” said Loren McDonald, CEO of consulting firm EVAdoption. Tesla dominates the EV segment, in part, because Superchargers nearly eliminate those consumer concerns, he said.

Now, the charger availability opens up a world of new makes and models to potential EV buyers not interested in a Tesla.

So far, the Tesla Supercharger network has been opened up to Ford and Rivian, with the American automaker set to add support for a whole host of other EV manufacturers over the next year, including BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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