Nissan Exec Recounts Top German Auto Engineer Claiming EVs “Doomed To Fail” & Consumers “Didn’t Want Or Need Them”

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!


It’s not any sort of news that the top German auto manufacturers have been slow to embrace electric vehicles — well, basically all major auto manufacturers have been.

As we know quite well now, the German manufacturers have largely opted to spend the last decade promoting diesel cars instead (and all that they entail), through legal means and otherwise.

What is newsworthy, though, is the recent recounting by a Nissan exec of an experience a couple of several years back — in this experience, an engineer at a top German auto manufacturer “poured a huge amount of scorn on electrification.”

Sounds promising, right? A look behind the veil.

I always wondered what the execs of companies such as Volkswagen and BMW have to say about Tesla when behind closed doors. I bet the language is quite colorful, and full of lazy generalizations and excuse making.

For now, though, we’ll have to settle for the comments below, just concerning electric vehicles in general. The comments come from a conversation that Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox (pictured above) recently had with Automotive News in Barcelona. Enjoy:

“Seven or eight years ago I attended a conference in the UK and an engineer from a very well-known German group was pouring a huge amount of scorn on electrification. (He was) basically saying, ‘Consumers don’t want it. Consumers don’t need it. The technology has no durability and therefore it’s doomed to fail.'”

Presumably, the comments came from a Volkswagen exec … going on a hunch and nothing else. As a bit of speculation, is it fair to theorize that Volkswagen execs are (seemingly) more arrogant than those of BMW or Daimler because of their closer ties to the government in Germany? That would figure, wouldn’t it?

But Volkswagen hasn’t been the only major auto company that has trailed Nissan and failed society in its EV hesitation or obstructionism. Anti-EV efforts and talk have been the norm. Following the launch of the Nissan Leaf, Nissan apparently got a lot of flack behind the scenes from others in the industry.

Notably, Willcox stated that things have been clearly changing as of late. “Now at motor shows everyone’s got a concept car with a blue lead coming out of it or they’re announcing 100 electric vehicles will be coming in the next three years or something like that. So the world has changed.”

Here are a few such examples of recently unveiled EVs from other automakers:

volkswagen-id-concept Generation EQ vw_budd-e_concept2 missionE_press_road Mitsubishi-eX-Concept_1 renault_82885_global_en 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Granted High Marks — EPA-Rated 84 MPGe Fuel Economy Audi-A9-etron Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, for Technical Development, beside the concept car Audi e-tron quattro concept at the International Auto Show 2015 in Frankfurt. citroen-e-tense

Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition peugeot-quartz-1 mercedes-vans-advance-2 Mercedes-elecric-shape-shifter-2 Mercedes.jpg1

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica.TV Videos

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

CleanTechnica's Comment Policy

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