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Automobiles

Nissan's EV patents loom large in reshaping of Renault alliance

Japanese automaker has six times more related filings than French counterpart

Nissan has far more electric-vehicle-related patents than French partner Renault.(Photo courtesy of Nissan)

TOKYO -- As Nissan Motor seeks to rework a decadeslong alliance with Renault, its sizable catalog of electric vehicle-related patents could emerge as a powerful tool to reduce the French partner's influence over the Japanese automaker. 

The automakers are negotiating a deal that would cut Renault's 43% stake in the Japanese partner to 15%, the same amount of stake Nissan has in Renault. Nissan also could take a stake of up to 15% in Renault's planned EV unit. Mitsubishi Motors, the third partner in the alliance, could also take part. 

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