The end is near for Nissan Motor's internal combustion gasoline engines. According to a report from Nikkei, the Japanese automaker will cease the development of new combustion engines in all its major markets outside the United States. Nissan is now the first significant Japanese automaker to make a move of this kind.
The news comes as Nissan continues to push towards an all-electric future. Notably, the brand has stopped the development of new gasoline engines for sale in the European markets. Nissan has said the new European Union (EU) Euro 7 emissions standards, set to go into effect by 2025 at the earliest, would make the development of new engines unsustainable in the region.
Nissan's latest move to pull out of engine development outside the US could signal the next phase in its electric vehicle (EV) transition. Nissan notably produces EVs like the LEAF and ARIYA. Over in Asia, Nissan will also stop developing new gasoline engines for its home market Japan and neighboring China. The brand will still reportedly develop hybrid vehicles for these markets, however.
With no new combustion engines on the horizon, Nissan's focus appears to be improving its current engine designs. The brand's engine plants will reportedly remain open, and no significant job cuts will happen at present.
Nissan has previously spent as much as $4.3 billion USD a year on research and development (R&D) for combustion engines. The budget will now go to its hybrid vehicles, EVs, and other cutting-edge technology. The added funding could eventually help Nissan stay competitive in the burgeoning global EV market.
In the Philippines, Nissan is one of the pioneers in EV technology. The brand currently offers its Nissan LEAF EV, retailing for P2,798,000. The LEAF debuted locally last year to much acclaim. It's available in only one variant that comes with a 40 kWh battery pack and a motor that delivers the equivalent of 148 hp and 320 Nm of torque.