Posts Tagged ‘alliance ventures’

Mitsubishi Electric Launches New Investment Fund for Green and Digital Startups

Thursday, January 20th, 2022
miami-lakes-mitsubishi-electric-logo
miami-lakes-mitsubishi-electric-logo

Mitsubishi Motors has been a tricky automaker to figure out over the last few years, hasn’t it? Joining the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2017 has opened a lot of doors, but not all has gone as planned. Shortly after Mitsubishi joined the fray, a new funding campaign, Alliance Ventures, was announced. It was a $1 billion investment plan to be used to start partnerships with various start-ups working on electric vehicle (EV) development and autonomous self-driving car tech. There hasn’t been any news about new partners since 2019, and after Mitsubishi Electric held an exhibit at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, we wonder if Mitsubishi is striking out on its own again. The major technological advances promised are large, but the company just announced a new ME Innovation Fund with Global Brain Corporation.

The company is launching the fund immediately, a corporate venture capital (CVC) fund designed to invest in and partner with startups across the world, yet again. This fund is very similar to the Alliance Ventures fund, with a commitment to invest five billion yen over the next ten years in various startups and new tech. The pandemic in 2020 could have easily put an end to Alliance Ventures, and with Mitsubishi Motors also announcing new models, perhaps Mitsubishi Motors Corp saved the money for a rainy day fund and this is it.

In case you missed it, Mitsubishi Motors just teased a new Ralliart vehicle in Tokyo during the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon called the Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart Concept. With the revival of Mitsubishi Ralliart, we’ve been wondering how the automotive group that made the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution rally car is going to mingle with EV development. This could have a hand in the new ME Innovation Fund, with a focus on green innovation, but the investments made between Mitsubishi Electric and Global Brain will also be supporting the growth of global startups working primarily in the digital domain. This is especially interesting after the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, as mentioned above.

Many automakers introduced an idea of one of two things – a mobile ecosystem where everyone has access to mobile solutions for personal travel or errands like shopping for groceries, and an implementation of digital technologies into everyday life. Imagine being able to travel to Mars in a vehicle designed with the most advanced virtual reality, or being able to work on a computer that is more or less a tangible hologram. What is this, Star Wars?

It sounds like it, and digital worlds are becoming a part of many companies. When discussing the auto industry, Mitsubishi Electric previewed concepts of employees working together with robots and artificial intelligence (AI) to produce higher quality products within a completely digitized factory, a concept called eF@ctory. Not only does it allow workers to work from virtually anywhere, controlling the robots to do the fine detailed work, in a world still aware of social distancing and the pandemic, it can keep operations functional. On a smaller scale, the company is proposing digital solutions for overseeing performance and production of buildings like manufacturing plants. On the other hand, artificial intelligence systems may one day maintain the power grid in entire cities. Some automakers are even working on virtual reality where consumers can do things in a digital world that have an impact on their physical lives…it just might not happen for about a decade.We look forward to hearing what investments Mitsubishi Electric and Global Brain Corp make when using the new ME Innovation Fund. Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright:  Mitsubishi Electric

Progress of Renault-Nissan-Alliance Four Major Focus Areas

Friday, May 1st, 2020
miami-lakes-mitsubishi-alliance-ventures-mobility-services

miami-lakes-mitsubishi-alliance-ventures-mobility-services

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance started off well and quickly went into a joint-venture together called “Alliance Ventures”, a $1 billion funding campaign for investing in and supporting open innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in technology developing autonomous systems, electric vehicles (EVs), connectivity, and artificial intelligence. With many investments made so far, there are plenty of contracts floating around between the Alliance and other companies abroad and in the U.S. Although 2020 is a little shaky, the Alliance announced that it would reveal and discuss mid-term plans this May. Earlier, we reviewed all the advancements that Mitsubishi Motors has made that could keep the Alliance moving forward, but there is more to the Alliance than autonomous technology and mobility services.

Made Up of Four Pillars

When the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance first started up, the group set out four areas of focus to work on: autonomous drive, electrification, connected vehicles, and mobility services. For the upcoming discussion about mid-term plans, the Alliance noted that each automaker would have major control over two areas, essentially creating a triangle formation, with Mitsubishi working plug-in-hybrid-electric vehicle technology due to their constant development of PHEV concepts. The most recent from Mitsubishi Motors would have to be the Mi-TECH Electric Buggy concept that was revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.

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Why Has Alliance Ventures Slowed Down?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020
miami-mitsubishi-alliance-ventures-shutdown

miami-mitsubishi-alliance-ventures-shutdown

Last week, we were joking but also praising how much Mitsubishi Motors has done for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in recent years. One would think it’s the main contributor to future development, and with a sudden change in the Alliance Ventures funding campaign, Mitsubishi may grab more of the spotlight. For those that don’t follow news about the Alliance, the Alliance announced in February that new plans were taking shape and the future of Alliance 2022, the six-year plan for the Alliance, will be announced in May. The Alliance Ventures funding campaign is a $1 billion investment plan to be used to start partnerships with various start-ups. The latest news has Nissan backing out the campaign.

As far as anyone knows, Nissan is still alive and well part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. In late January 2020, Nissan announced the development of a new cross-brand EV platform that could be used by either brand for various types of vehicles. However, investments via the Alliance Ventures campaign has slowed down to a crawl and might just be dead. At first, investments were being made like clockwork, with six investments made in 2018 focusing largely on robotaxi startups, as well as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. The latest investment was with The Mobility House, and that one will mainly benefit Mitsubishi Motors.

With the 2020 Geneva International Motor show cancelled, we still have the great showcase Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric had in store with the new Dendo Drive House. The Dendo Drive House (DDH) was a product of the clean-energy project Mitsubishi Motors put together with Hitachi Europe Ltd. and ENGIE. Using a system of solar panels around the housed, energy is converted and stored in a house battery, and then excess energy can be stored in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to be used as a spare battery. In essence, the goal is to reduce the need for energy not only through the power grid, but to also use renewable energy. The Mobility House has a similar goal, working towards a zero-emission energy network where PHEVs and electric vehicles are actually plugged into the power grid to be used as mobile energy sources.

That’s all great and all, but what’s this about Nissan dropping out? According to Reuters, Nissan insiders have been talking about Nissan making a decision to leave the funding campaign to cut costs. It seems the automaker is dealing with its own unforeseen circumstances with the latest virus outbreak. Pulling out of the campaign may sound dramatic, but from the beginning, Alliance Ventures was supposed to gather $200 million a year in total from the three partners, but if Nissan is losing profits, then the automaker can’t put it is share. With only one or two investments in 2019, it doesn’t seem like that goal has been met since the campaign started.

How will this affect the plans to make a big announcement about Alliance 2022 in May? It’s unclear. Although Alliance 2022 and Alliance Ventures are linked, the two are also independent of one another. Just like with the new EV platform coming from Nissan, each automaker is set up to be in charge of two pillars and will share its technology with the other partner. Alliance Ventures is a failing funding campaign, but the investments made thus far were smart choices that can lead to greater things for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Follow along with all the news when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is Developing an Intelligent Cloud

Thursday, February 27th, 2020
Miami-lakes-mitsubishi-renault-nissan-mitsubishi-connected-vehicles-google

Miami-lakes-mitsubishi-renault-nissan-mitsubishi-connected-vehicles-google

Connecting our vehicles to our homes is the next step for many automakers, and it’s a trend that is slowly popping up. Virtual Assistants, also known as smart devices, have been commonplace since Siri on the Apple iPhone. Then came Corana on Microsoft platforms, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and the list continues to grow. It isn’t just the tech giants getting in on this either – automobile groups have already eyed this as the next niche to break into and dominate. Several automotive brands already have an Amazon Alexa-connected device in their vehicle, a contract with Amazon, or an Alexa skill that can connect consumers to their vehicles from the comfort of their living room. What’s next? Connecting vehicles together with clouds.

Not puffy fluffy clouds made of rain, but the cloud. When people talk about the cloud in terms of computer-speaker, they’re talking about a large server that is used to store information elsewhere, usually in a large data center located somewhere nearby. Clouds are useful for storing data as well as sharing it. Google Drive was possibly one of the first major uses of Cloud computing, allowing businesses to share files and collaborate over long distances. Now, all kinds of companies are making use of clouds, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is one of those automobile groups that are making use cloud computing technology in automobiles.

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New Business Plans to be Announced by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

Friday, February 7th, 2020
miami-lakes-mitsubishi-renault-nissan-mitsubishi-business-plans

miami-lakes-mitsubishi-renault-nissan-mitsubishi-business-plans

Ever since the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance was formed in 2017, and later announced Alliance 2022 and its six-year plan, there hasn’t been a lot of word on what is going on. Yes, we hear about the occasional investment the Alliance makes through Alliance 2022, a $1 billion fundraising campaign started to help develop new startups and entrepreneurs in technology for self-driving robotaxis, car sharing networks, new EV batteries, and new forms of EV charging. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much talk about plans for 2022, two years away. When we take a look at the past few years, progress has slowly been building, and after a meeting between the top leaders of each automaker, the three agreed to share new medium-term business plans around May 2020.

This is great news! Assuming the six-year plan started in 2018 (although it’s more like five years if it ends in 2022), the Alliance is at the halfway point and thus has new plans to put into play at the halfway point. Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) have all agreed to share their respective new medium-term business plans following an agreement at a meeting held between the top leaders of the three-way automotive alliance at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. Nissan President Makoto Uchida had this to say –

“Under the plans, one with the greatest competitiveness will lead the other two in each category, such as compact cars and electric vehicles.”

Simply put, the Alliance is turning into a triangle of sorts. One automaker with success and already proving to be a competitive name in the industry will share technology and success with the other two so that they may also be successful while still remaining competitive internally as well as externally. This is abundantly clear with Mitsubishi Motors, initially slated to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development. We could say the automaker is already well on its way with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mi-TECH concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, a plug-in hybrid electric engine that replaces the need for an internal combustion engine with a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator powerful enough to drive a small SUV, and able to be powered by various fuel sources, including diesel, kerosene, and alcohol.

When it came to electric vehicle technology, Mitsubishi Motors had okay success with the i-MieV, but the Nissan Leaf has been a success story for all-electric vehicles and Nissan. As luck would have it, Nissan also recently announced the development of a new cross-brand EV platform that will not only be available to all three automakers for future all-electric and battery-electric vehicles, but will also be flexible. This means that the new platform can be utilized by either automaker, and changed based on the size, style, and purpose of its intended use, and most likely different powertrains as well.

Could we see an electric Mitsubishi Mirage? The next-gen Mitsubishi Mirage is supposed to be based on the Nissan Juke, and if electric vehicles and compact cars are on the docket for mid-term business plans, is it really such a farfetched idea? We don’t think so. Tell us your thoughts. Join the discussion about the promising new business plans on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: nippon.com

Mitsubishi Electric Bringing New Tech to 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
miami-lakes-mitsubishi-electric-2019-tokyo-motor-show

miami-lakes-mitsubishi-electric-2019-tokyo-motor-show

Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric came to the Tokyo Motor Show and had two brand new concepts to show off. These were the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, destined to bring back the “EVO” nameplate previously thought to be discontinued, but new plans for a Lancer Crossover by Mitsubishi may have taken over – actually, it may be the same concept based on the digital renders. The second concept was Emirai4, a self-driving vehicle currently in the testing phase. Two years later, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) is packing heat. Their hand in the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Alliance Ventures has paid off. With their recent partnership with MaaS Global Oy, a whole new vision is about to take off.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp and MaaS Global Oy

MaaS Global Oy is the company behind an overseas mobile app called Whim. It’s basically a ride-hailing app that rolls all the various apps, cards, and payment methods for buses, trams, taxis, cars, bicycles, and more into just one app. It basically offers everyone (in Helsingin seudun liikenne, Finland) the ability to subscribe to a plan that gives them access to all of these transportation services – public, personal, and even rentals. Since it launched in 2017, the service has expanded to Birmingham, U.K. and Antwerp, Belgium, and with a recent investment by Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Toyotsa Financing Solutions, MaaS Global plans to expand to Vienna, Singapore; several cities in Japan; and eventually over to the states in Miami and Chicago, and again in North America in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

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Mitsubishi Dendo Drive House Meets The Mobility House

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
miami-lakes-mitsubishi-alliance-ventures-the-mobility-house

miami-lakes-mitsubishi-alliance-ventures-the-mobility-house

Alliance Ventures has just made yet another great investment and it’s time to do a little recap, because this most recent investment is proof that their Dendo Drive House concept is no joke. Remember the presentation Mitsubishi Motors put on at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show with the Dendo Drive House (DDH)? It’s an eco-friendly house that Mitsubishi Motors and presumably Mitsubishi Electric are working on to make use of their successful clean-energy project. Well, investing in The Mobility House may just be what Mitsubishi needs to put DDH houses on the map, literally.

Renewable Energy Project

In the spring of 2018, Mitsubishi Motors worked on a renewable energy project with ENGIE and Hitachi Europe, Ltd. ENGIE HQ was known as a Building Energy Management System (BEMS, or a building equipped with solar panels to collect and convert into electrical energy for the building to be used at a later time, like at night, to keep costs down. However, the extra energy collected needed to be stored somewhere other than the building’s grid, otherwise, it would go to waste. With a bi-directional converter from Hitachi and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, excess energy could be stored in the plug-in hybrid, and then even more energy could be stored for long winter nights when there is less sunlight to power the solar panels.

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Mitsubishi Motors Marching Strong in 2019

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
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miami-lakes-mitsubishi-niche-review-2019-small-batch-2020-outlander-sport

We’re almost through the first half of 2019 and there’s so much going on in the auto industry. Many automakers out there have been talking business deals and making smart investments. Throughout the year, there’s been a lot of cool stuff coming out, and one automaker makes it easy to review all the new stuff they’re working on. Recently discussed in a press release, Mitsubishi Motors is expanding its business and making all sorts of noise with new models and new technology. Check out what the highest-ranked Asian automaker (according to J.D. Power) is up to now.

New Models

This one is obvious. The new concept to come from Mitsubishi Motors is the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer Concept that debuted at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.  Giving us a look at what comes next for the auto brand, the Engelberg Tourer is rugged SUV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) built for an adventurous lifestyle, outfitted with a roof-mounted cargo box and designed to handle going off-road with Mitsubishi Motors Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. We also got a look at a futuristic smart house, the Dendo Drive House, a smart house powered by solar panels and designed with the Engelberg Tourer in mind as a back-up storage unit for more efficient use of energy.

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Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Makes Another Smart Investment

Monday, November 19th, 2018
Miami Lakes Automall Mitsubishi Alliance Enevate Investment

Miami Lakes Automall Mitsubishi Alliance Enevate Investment

The four-year plan for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is well underway with Alliance 2022 and the current funding campaign, Alliance Ventures. Earlier in 2018, the alliance made five investments in several companies and startups that shared similar interests with their Alliance 2022 plan. Recently, the alliance has used Alliance Ventures to invest in a sixth company that’s going to change the way consumers view electric vehicles.

Enevate

One of the largest reasons consumers shy away from alternative fuel vehicles like plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs) and especially electric vehicles (EVs), is the fear that they will be stranded if the battery powering the motor runs out of juice. Luckily, unless irresponsible, consumers can find an electric charging station nearly anywhere with the PlugShare app, and electric vehicle charging stations in Miami, Florida are becoming increasingly popular. But that’s sometimes the second reason consumers are wary – needing to plug in somewhere for two hours or more is a bit of a buzz kill.

That’s where Enevate is providing a solution. With their advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, this startup company based in Irvine, California is going to change the way people recharge PHEVs and EVs. By using what they call HD-Energy Technology, Enevate has achieved a far superior version of fast charging via high energy density.

The HD-Energy Technology has already been able to offer the following benefits:

– A 75-percent increase in charging rates, down to five minutes

– High energy density charging for EVs that have a long driving range

– Able to be utilized in warm and cold climates, as low as -40 degrees F

– The cost is lower than EV charging today

– It’s safer

“We share the common goal of making electric vehicles easier to use and adopt in mass markets. We look forward to our strategic partnership with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, as they are a global leader in electric vehicles and they understand the market needs of EV consumers worldwide.” – Enevate President and CEO Robert A. Rango

With all these benefits, and the funding from Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Enevate is almost ready to start producing their technology in high volumes. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance isn’t the only company to invest in Enevate, either. LG Chem, another high-profile investor, showed interest in the technology in October 2018. Now, automotive manufacturers and suppliers worldwide just need to adopt the next-generation features that PHEVs and EVs can offer, and Enevate can take alternative fuel vehicles to the next level.

Last Five Investments

Alliance Ventures has made five investments in 2018 to benefit Alliance 2022 and future concepts for the alliance auto brands. In the U.S., the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance invested in Ionic Materials, a firm currently developing solid-state cobalt-free battery materials for hybrids and plug-in hybrids to provide automakers cheaper ways to make high quality alternative fuel vehicles. One of the first investments though were in many robotaxi startups – artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles are the main focus of Alliance Ventures.

The funding campaign was also used to invest in the DiDi Auto Alliance intelligent-ride sharing and autonomous technology conglomerate in China, in exchange for access to auto leasing and sales, auto finance, auto service, fleet operation, and car-sharing solutions. Another company based in China, Sinovation Ventures, is focused on developing artificial intelligence and has been backed by Jaguar, Land Rover, and Valeo. With Alliance 2022 dealing with autonomous and artificial intelligence as the main two focuses of future car concepts, it makes sense for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to also make these investments.

Curious to find out what’s next for the alliance? Follow Miami Lakes Mitsubishi on social media and join the discussion online.

Photo Source/Copyright: Enevate

Five Latest Investments by Alliance Ventures

Thursday, May 24th, 2018
Miami Lakes Automall Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Five Investments

Miami Lakes Automall Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Five Investments

Renault-Nissan brought Mitsubishi Motors into the fold back in 2016 to create the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Over a year, Mitsubishi Motors finished producing its last in-house vehicle, the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and started to use Nissan’s resources to get a running start as part of the alliance. In January 2018, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance began a new funding campaign called “Alliance Ventures” to invest $1 billion in order to support open innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in technology with a focus on autonomous systems, electric vehicles (EVs), connectivity, and artificial intelligence. The fund will last five years, and to start things off, $200 million was allocated for the first year’s budget – $50 million of that budget has already been spent in the last five months. Here’s a list of all five investments.

Overseas

Being that all three automakers are from the other side of the hemisphere, with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan settled in Japan, and Renault in France, the investments started overseas. The first was with the DiDi Auto Alliance. Founded by DiDi, an artificial intelligence and autonomous technology conglomerate in China, the DiDi Auto Alliance is an intelligent ride-sharing alliance working on providing new smart mobility solutions in China. The main goal of the DiDi Auto Alliance aims to unite all its members to transform the business model of the automotive industry and become the largest full-capacity vehicle operator platform in the world by providing services like auto leasing and sales, auto finance, auto service, fleet operation, and car-sharing solutions. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance struck a deal to help fund the DiDi Auto Alliance in exchange for their automotive services.

A France-based company, Kalray, has also received funding from Alliance Ventures, being that their current goals are very similar to those of the alliance. In addition to their plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, the alliance plans to develop fifteen models with autonomous features by 2022; Kalray is working on developing a microprocessor that can be used in autonomous driving. Sounds like the perfect match and a smart investment.

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