Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Promises 1.5 Million EVs By 2020

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Originally published on Gas2
by Jo Borras

In a recent press conference held in conjunction with the Frankfurt auto show, Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn explained that, while 2013 has been a difficult year in many markets, he sees “a light at the end of the tunnel” of 2013, predicting market growth in 2014 and Nissan’s continued commitment to leading the pack in terms of electric car sales. That commitment to EVs will, according to Ghosn, amount to 1.5 million Nissan and Renault EVs on the road by 2020.

Ghosn also made clear that the Nissan and Renault recognize the fact that electric vehicles represent the next phase of automotive technology, and expects to see EVs reach 10% of the total car market once the world’s governments decide to commit to EVs (in the same way they’ve committed to oil and gas).

While that all sounds great, let’s not forget that Nissan has over-estimated the EV market before. It’s also worth noting that some of Ghosn’s failed pet projects, like the Renault-backed Project Better Place, are just as noteworthy for their failure as are the huge PR successes Ghosn has earned – like the upcoming electric (Grrl power!) LeMans effort, the plug-in Popemobile, and the back-and-forth sales race between the Leaf and Chevy’s Volt hybrid (which is marketed, in the US, as an EV and Leaf competitor).

Here’s hoping Nissan meets those 2020 sales goals. If it does, we’ll all be much better off!

Source | Photos: Motorpasion.

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12 thoughts on “Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Promises 1.5 Million EVs By 2020

  • Last year, didn’t Carlos say Nissan would sell 1.5 million by 2016? Yeah he did, and I think global cummulative leaf sales are somewhere around 80,000. I am a big supporter of EVs, not clueless execs. I’d rather watch that video of short bus Elon Musk showing the world he figured out how to follow the instructions and use a Leap Motion. Elon gets a gold star on his chart lol

    • People said the same about the Prius and Toyota’s CEO once upon a time. He’s trying to guess at an inflection point, the uptake of EV’s won’t be linear, it’s going to trend exponentially at a certain point. Guessing that certain point is hard and you look really bad when you miss it, but it’s coming.

      GM, Tesla, Nissan, they’re all targeting a 150-200 mile EV for ~28-38k in the 2016ish time frame. Elon definately gets a gold star for accelerating the time frame.

      • I get the inflection point thing, he was so far off it makes me wonder if they have a clue.

  • I suspect that criticisms of that figure are based on the current state of adoption of EVs which would make the 1.5 M number highly suspect. However, I suspect that Mr. Ghosn knows more about what is coming down the pike and when it will get here than we do. For example, we in AZ (and elsewhere) have shown Nissan the high heat problem with attendant battery degeneration. Nissan jumped on the problem and has a high heat battery in the works that will be available next April. Coming from a manufacturing background that is an amazing response time. Thus, let’s see if they hit their mark in April and let that be an indication of the veracity of Mr. Ghosn’s remarks.

    • Carlos has made some optimistic predictions which haven’t panned out.

      His early ones were torpedoed by the economic crash of 2008. And I don’t think he factored in the immense amount of anti-EV press that has been pumped out by the media.

      What we don’t know, and those in the business might, is how close we are to a much higher capacity battery. If some of the ones promising 2x, 3x increases in storage were to hit the market in the next year or two then we could see millions of EVs on the road by 2020.

      The US buys about 16 million new cars annually, 60 million worldwide.
      Imagine that in 2015 a battery that gives us a 200 mile range and fast recharging hits the market. By 2017 many people will be convinced that an EV will work for them. As sales volumes rise the cost of EVs will fall. If only 10% of new car buyers go for an EV in 2020 that will be more than 6 million in a single year.

    • Are you actually suggesting that Nissan and all other EV companies are not working on bringing prices down?

      Special dealerships – you mean dealerships that have techs trained to work on EVs?

      • No, I’m suggesting that if there is a good price in 1 part of the world it be made available to everyone. Why the hell should 1 group not only get better availability but better price as well. Yes, “special dealerships”, every bloody one should have the technicians trained! Just another example of why Tesla’s breaking of the “dealership” mold is right. Nissan should be training all dealerships, have the vehicle available at all dealerships and not be requiring either the dealership to pay for the training or have a quota system where they would have to sell a certain number of cars to carry it. It is a BS system which basically excludes everyone outside of a major population center!

        • Don’t you think it’s better to concentrate your resources where they are most likely to create a return?

          • you want 1.5M of these cars on the road you don’t limit your market.

          • I’ve lost track of what’s irritating you.

            If you’re trying to sell EVs then you’re going to put them in the dealerships where they are likely to sell. There’s a cost. You’ve got to train their techs and provide test/repair/charging equipment. You don’t want an EV sitting for months unsold when other markets will snap it up.
            I would imagine they’d sell a lot better in a SoCal dealership than in a small town, red state, “oil country” dealership.

  • Better Place was a Gohsn “pet project”, Jo?

    That was Agassi’s project. They got Renault to build cars for them.

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