Nissan will focus on battery electric vehicles (EVs) as a core product and will offer a range of high-quality products that are reliable, well-engineered, attractive and fun to drive, said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in a speech at the company’s annual general shareholders meeting in Japan.
Ghosn said that zero-emissions vehicles were the best solution to address the on-going growth in global demand for vehicles coupled with “the demand for a cleaner planet.” Nissan, along with Renault, said Ghosn, “has an opportunity to be a world leader in mass-marketing them.”
When I say “zero-emission” vehicles, I am referring to electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, cars that do not burn oil and release zero emissions into the air. Fuel cell vehicles are promising for the future—and Nissan continues to invest in their development—but the production and distribution of hydrogen is yet much more problematic than electricity or batteries. Because the battery technology is more advanced, we will introduce electric vehicles first.
Without the battery, the cost of the electric car should be comparable to that of a similar-sized car today. The lease of the battery plus the electricity cost should be lower than the cost of gasoline. If oil prices continue to stay at a high level, as expected, the electric car will become that much more attractive.—Carlos Ghosn
Nissan plans to introduce an all-electric car in 2010 in the US and Japan, and mass-market it globally in 2012. The Nissan-Renault Alliance has also signed agreements with Project Better Place to mass-market electric vehicles in Israel and Denmark in 2011, and is currently negotiating with other countries in Europe and Asia, Ghosn said.
We will continue to develop a portfolio of green technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, including improvements to gasoline engines, clean diesel, hybrids, flex fuels and fuel cell vehicles. In September, we will introduce the X-TRAIL with clean diesel in Japan. In 2010 we will launch the clean-diesel Maxima in the United States and our own original hybrid technology.—Carlos Ghosn
In remarks at a press conference after the meeting, Ghosn said that he believes electric cars will succeed because:
they are “zero-emissions. The others are not,” referring to hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars. “We believe zero-emission is part of what the global market is looking for and (is) ready to pay for,” he said.
Ghosn said that he hopes to sell 1 million of electric cars a year globally, although without specifying a date.
Nissan Motor, NEC Corporation, and NEC TOKIN Corporation formed a joint venture— Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC)— in 2007 to develop and market lithium-ion batteries for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
For the next-generation of EV cells, AESC is working on a new cathode material of a nickel-mixed Mn spinel and a graphite carbon anode. The cell will feature an enlarged footprint, but will be thinner to increase heat discharge, and have a capacity of 30 Ah. (Earlier post.)