Nissan puts an end to the development of internal combustion engines… sort of

Citing a report in Nikkei Asia (pay wall), Ars-Technica says Nissan will stop developing internal combustion engines except for the US market, where demand for gasoline engines is insatiable, especially for large SUVs and pickup trucks.

Why is Nissan doing this? Because he decided that making internal combustion engines that comply with the next round of European emissions regulations would simply be too expensive. In 2021, the European Union introduced regulations that impose substantial fines on any automaker that fails to bring its fleet average below 95g of carbon dioxide per kilometer. As a result, Germany has become the world’s largest plug-in vehicle market after China. Nor is Nissan planning any new internal combustion engines for Japan or China, although it will apparently continue to refine existing engines and work on hybrid powertrains.

Government policies also have an impact on the price of electric vehicles. In the UK, electric vehicle prices fell for many models after the government reduced the threshold selling price that allowed electric vehicles to qualify for a subsidy. In the absence of such policy guidelines in the United States, the push for more electric cars has been blunted.

The Senate recently refused to amend the electric vehicle tax credit to limit the price of eligible automobiles and trucks, so most manufacturers have little incentive to lower prices. Moreover, the United States has only a modest goal of reaching 50% of electric vehicle sales by 2030, far behind the policies of most other countries. As a result, automakers are prioritizing battery sourcing for regions like China and Europe, where the price of non-compliance is just too high.

Who’s in, who’s out

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the automakers that have pledged to end development of the ICE. Last summer, Volvo said it would not develop its gasoline engines further and stop selling them by 2030, according SCS. But Ars-Technica says the company has decided to spin off its engine development business to a new entity, whatever that means. In December, it was widely reported that Hyundai Motor Group had also halted all development of internal combustion engines, which the company later denied.

ArsTechinca says that if the Nikkei Asia report is correct, Nissan is only making it explicit that the electrification of light passenger vehicles will be much faster in regions where governments create strong policy incentives. The United States failed to do so, delivering its citizens to many more decades of illness and untimely death from the gunk spewing out of the exhaust pipes of all those gasoline engines.

Soon America will be like Australia, a dumping ground for vehicles that don’t meet the emissions standards of more advanced countries. It’s something to be proud of, apparently.


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