CEO Carlos Ghosn said, "We can't say what the prevailing technology will be."
As such, he said, "No one with volumes under eight or nine million vehicles (per year) can afford to develop them all and that will drive a new round of consolidation."
Some consolidation has already occurred, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.
Two months ago Renault-Nissan and Germany's Daimler AG said they would share technology on conventional engines and develop batteries for electrically powered cars, and Toyota Motor Corp. is joining forces with Tesla Motors Inc. to develop an electric vehicle, the newspaper said.
The need to save costs is at least implied by expensive price tags for advanced power systems. Batteries for an all-electric performance vehicle currently cost up to $50,000. A transmission for a hybrid can cost three times that of a conventional transmission, the newspaper said.