20% Electric Car Sales In Europe In 2020 — Nissan’s New Target

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

As much as 20% of its vehicle sales in the European market will be of electric vehicles by the year 2020, according to Nissan’s Europe EV division chief, Gareth Dunsmore.

So, 20% by 2020. Well, that’s the statement that was made by Dunsmore anyways. Could Nissan actually achieve this goal? Does the company have secret plans in the works for new, compelling, electric vehicles (EVs) to hit the market in the near future? How could the company’s expectations stated above be achieved without better EVs than what’s on offer now?

Hard questions to answer …. The current iteration of the Nissan LEAF is just not that compelling anymore (at its current price point anyways). With a great many companies slated to begin releasing compelling long-range EVs over the next few years (Tesla, GM, Hyundai, etc), how will Nissan hit “20% by 2020”?

Nissan Leafs Barcelona
Nissan LEAFs in Barcelona, Spain. Photo by Zach Shahan | EV Obsession | CleanTechnica

“Electric vehicles such as the Leaf and e-NV200 currently account for 6% of Nissan’s European sales, and Dunsmore pointed to the EV-friendly confines of Norway as an example of how plug-in vehicle adoption can spike with the right incentives. Stricter greenhouse-gas emissions targets and longer single-charge range slated for the end of the decade may also help convince buyers to ditch their gas- or diesel-powered cars and go electric,” Autoblog writes.

“Of course, France isn’t Norway, and neither is the US, where sales trends for the Leaf don’t suggest that a spike in Nissan’s EV sales will happen anytime soon unless the model receives a significant update. Through May, Nissan Leaf sales have fallen 39% this year to about 4,700 units. For May alone, sales plunged 53% from 2015 to just 979 vehicles. And as of late March, the Nissan Leaf’s European sales had dropped about 48% from a year earlier, according to the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) website.”

The company certainly seems to be losing its position at the front of the EV pack.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

16 thoughts on “20% Electric Car Sales In Europe In 2020 — Nissan’s New Target

  • Nissan Leaf – made in the UK – so what happens if UK leaves EU?
    Nissan might consider moving manufacture out of UK?

    • No, there would be some kind of reciprocal duty-free agreement like the auto pact between Canada and the US prior to NAFTA.

      Euro makers need access to the UK, and vice-versa.

      • To a degree this is true. However until this is in place there is likely to be a period of uncertainty which will factor in to Nissan’s (or any other company’s) decision making process when making big investments. The Nissan plant in Sunderland has many benefits so may still win out, but the short-term uncertainty caused by “Brexit” will cause some economic impacts which even senior people on the “Vote Leave” side have admitted.

        • will another car maker – or even Nissan – invest in new plant or in building a new line in a UK not in the EU?
          I think not: the UK’s advantage is the combination of UK employment law plus single market access

      • A lot of UK built cars are sold in Europe.
        Even if current builds stay here, better to invest in next model being built in europe

      • There’ll be lots of unfriendly continentals lining up to put the boot into the UK if they vote to leave.

    • If the UK did leave the EU might there be a consumer pushback on the part of EU customers? Is it possible that a “not one of us” attitude would develop making it more difficult for the UK to sell into EU markets?

      • Most buyers in Europe have no clue where their car is coming from and don’t bother finding out. In their view, the source place is related to the brand’s country, real or perceived.

  • They must have improvements in the pipeline if they are serious about expecting 20%. They can’t shout about them because it will further depress sales of the existing LEAF.

    • Yes, think this was the best way it could “shout” about its upcoming EVs. Gave me more confidence it has a good, long-range, affordable car in the works. We’ll see.

    • Agreed. But Nissan/Renault have obviously been caught out by the pace of change in the market. They obviously expected the current Leaf to have a longer market life. The race is to the swift.

  • No shit. Talk about Nissan stating the obvious. 20% is the bare minimum they will be needing to reach their emission goal stated by EU regulations.

    So it’s either 20% (or more) by then or massive fines for Nissan, an easy choice and great motivator.

    All the other car manufacturers (that wan’t to continue to sell cars in the EU) needs to do this as well. So I would definitely rename the year 2020 to “the Big Bang of EVs”.

  • I am quite certain Nissan has a much improved model in the pipeline, they just try to gauge the market as long as possible. Their sales are suffering of course but they seem to be OK with that for some reason. Possibly, the current Leaf turns a profit but a new, 200mi/35$ model would not, yet, and they are working on their cost structure.

    The current Leaf will be completely crushed when the EU version of the Bolt arrives (called Ampera E, IIRC). If that doesn’t kill it, the Model 3 will a year later.

    Should I need a new car, I would be OK with the 30kwh model if the price goes down to 30K before incentives (although I would have to think hard whether it isn’t better to buy a current Volt/Ampera or to wait a little for the upcoming Bolt).

    When given the choice, I would definitely buy from a EU-mainland factory after a Brexit. In this case, I hope Nissan migrates its production to the mainland as soon as possible. There is no point in supplying EU citizens from a non-EU state. Turkey may have EU trade-zone priviledges as an aspirant country but the UK should not, if they decide to leave the EU.

    • I agree, but I’m sure it is not O.K. with Nissan. Ghosn has said that Nissan know people don’t want odd little EVs anymore. They aren’t ready for another year to replace the current Leaf.

  • 20% should be easy. Tighter EU emission regulations + very long waiting times for Ampera or Tesla Model 3 (what is it now, 2019?) + several countries stating they can ban gasoline cars only 5 years later could only mean big business for Nissan.

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