Directly across from the Google campus and minutes from leading hardware and software companies, the offices in Mountain View will allow one of the world's largest automotive groups to capitalize on the region's world-class engineering talent and stay ahead of trends that are reshaping the way people interact with their cars.
The office will build staff organically to focus on specific projects and business developments as they emerge. Small, highly efficient teams will initially work on vehicle IT development, advanced engineering research and technology recruitment.
"The Alliance is at the vanguard of the auto industry's shift to sustainable transportation. Having a greater footprint in one of the world's headquarters for clean tech research will extend our lead further," said Carlos Ghosn, CEO and Chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, who is giving a talk at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) today. Ghosn's "Clean Cars" presentation at Stanford will focus on how and why zero-emission technologies is leading to unprecedented opportunities in the auto industry and economy.
Created in 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is a unique partnership between two of the largest automakers in Europe and Japan. Renault and Nissan, which together employ more than 350,000 workers, sold 7.2 million cars in 2010 – about one in 10 cars worldwide. Paris-based Renault and Yokohama-based Nissan collaborate through joint purchasing, platform sharing and cross-shareholding. They maintain separate brands and cultural identities.
$5.4 Billion Commitment to Sustainable Mobility
The Nissan LEAF, which debuted last year, is the world's first affordable, mass-marketed pure electric vehicle, and it's the first product from the Alliance's $5.4 billion investment in zero-emission cars. Upcoming debuts include an Infiniti premium electric sedan, the Renault Twizy urban commuter car for Europe, and utility vans for commercial fleets. All can be charged purely with renewable energy, for 100 percent zero emissions "well to wheel."
Nissan will use the Silicon Valley office to focus on vehicle IT research, including graphical user-interface displays, in-car Internet connectivity and smart-grid research. Nissan's "Carwings" telematics system, a standard in every Nissan LEAF, includes a seven-inch touchscreen with maps of recharging stations and real-time reports on energy consumption. Nissan has delivered more than 7,500 LEAFs worldwide.
Renault, one of the largest carmakers in Europe, will be launching a broad range of affordable, zero-emission cars for overseas markets. Renault Fluence ZE, which debuts later this year in Europe and the Middle East, has a folding floor that enables a battery swap in less time than it takes to fill a car with gasoline. The Renault Twizy ZE is a two-seat urban commuter car, and the Renault Kangoo ZE is a utility van that is convenient and cost-effective for deliveries and other fleet uses.
Renault's Silicon Valley work will focus on research and advanced engineering, in particular electric vehicles and their supplier and infrastructure ecosystem, on-board services and business development.