The automakers hope to make compact EVs as affordable as gasoline-fuelled vehicles of similar size, the sources said.
The three companies are expected to use common batteries and other key components. The alliance plans to jointly invest in capacity to produce in France, Britain, China and Japan a total of 220 gigawatt-hours of battery capacity by 2030 under the plan, the sources said.
By standardizing and sharing batteries, the alliance expects to halve battery manufacturing costs, they said.
The alliance is also expected to share solid-state lithium-ion battery technology, which Nissan has been developing, they said.
The plan had been for the leaders of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to announce the 2030 plan last autumn at an event in Japan, but the announcement was postponed until this week because of a surge in COVID-19 in Japan, the sources said.
A disagreement between Nissan and Renault over the French firm's proposals for a full-blown merger – tensions that burst into the open with the arrest of former alliance leader Carlos Ghosn in 2018 – corresponded with stalled efforts to collaborate on technology and vehicle development, people with knowledge of the matter have said.
The three automakers all have their own hybrid technologies with few shared key parts and systems. The limited cooperation in sourcing and development has raised concern within the group about the ability to achieve cost savings, one source said.
It was not immediately clear whether alliance leaders will discuss hybrids as part of their 2030 plan.
Nissan said in November it planned to spend some $18 billion over five years to accelerate vehicle electrification, launching 23 electrified vehicles -- including gasoline-electric hybrids -- by 2030, including 15 EVs. Half of Nissan's vehicle mix will be electrified by 2030, including EVs and e-Power hybrids, the company said.
Renault has said its Renault brand will be 100 percent electric in Europe by 2030, but company officials told Reuters the target does not apply to markets outside Europe and the group’s other brands, such as Dacia.