TRAVERSE CITY CONFERENCE: How the Renault-Nissan alliance invests in new technologies

August 1, 2018 17:31 CET

TRAVERSE CITY — Electric vehicle and clean energy technologies are key investment targets for Alliance Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

The $1 billion fund seeks to invest in technologies that will help drive EV adoption, Christian Noske, managing director of Alliance Ventures, said Tuesday at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars.

“Our goal is always to find the best technologies of the future and ideally implement it into our cars or our services or our companies,” Noske said.

Alliance Ventures launched this year with a $200 million initial investment, co-located in Amsterdam; Silicon Valley; Paris; Beijing; Yokohama, Japan; and Tel Aviv, Israel.

Noske sees investment potential in solid-state battery and fast-charging technologies.

“Fast charging is just a super important topic as this is really helping the adoption of EVs and really about how to make this experience a better one,” Noske said. The industry is trying to reduce charge time to be more like a stop at a gasoline station.

“How do we get to 15 minutes, which is more like filling up your car?” he asked.

Autonomous driving technologies are another focus area.

“Autonomous driving — it’s a race. Everyone is working on that,” Noske said.

Alliance Ventures is also interested in connected services, new mobility and Industry 4.0, a broad term that refers to a slew of manufacturing, supply chain, business processes and other technologies.

Alliance Ventures invests at the Series A or Series B investment stage. It expects to do 10 deals annually, making initial investments of $500,000 to $25 million. In return, Alliance Ventures takes a 5 to 20 percent ownership stake in the companies.

“We are providing funding and resources and access to the alliance,” Noske said. “In return we get know-how and also investment returns.” 

You can reach Urvaksh Karkaria at ukarkaria@crain.com.

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