Nissan CEO: We Believe In EVs, The LEAF Is Here To Stay, The Main Objective Now Is Selling It (video)

4 years ago by Jay Cole 10

Nissan Motor Company announced full year fiscal results for 2012 today (which for them ended March 31st, 2013), and like Tesla earlier this week, the automaker also turned a decent profit; and sold a lot of electric cars.

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For Nissan they sold almost 5,000,000 cars worldwide, up slightly from 2011, and had an operating profit of JPY 523.5 billion (USD 6.31 billion, EUR 4.90 billion).

Just to give readers some perspective on those numbers, General Motors earned $4.9 billion on 9.3 million in vehicle sales.  It appears as though the auto industry has certainly turned things around from where it was only a few years ago.

However, we are all about the about electric cars, and not so much about the dollars and cents.  So when Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sat down to talk about Nissan’s 2012 results, all we cared about was if he was going to talk about plug-ins.  As always, Mr. Ghosn did not disappoint, saying he believed in the platform and that more than 62,000 LEAFs had now been sold worldwide.

  (video clip begins at 2:20 above)

ROLAND BUERK: Changes have to been made to the Nissan LEAF, both to the car itself and pricing. And it’s being built in the States and in Europe as well now. What has been the impact of those changes on sales, and what do you think the impact will be on the outlook for electric vehicles?

CEO Ghosn: Look, we’re following the course. We are following the plan. We said we’re going to continue to simplify the car, we’re going to localize the car, we’re going to reduce the cost, and we’re going to give as much benefit as possible to the consumer, so we can increase the sales of the LEAF. We hit 62,000 LEAF (sales) already. We are by far the carmaker with the most sales of the electric car in the history of this industry, and we believe that this is going to be an important segment of the car industry.

So, we are going to continue to lobby for more infrastructure. This is the No. 1 reason for which the sales are not growing faster. We’re going to continue to simplify the product, to localize the product, to reduce the cost, and pass it to the consumer.

The LEAF is here to stay. The main objective now that we have a car that drives very well, that people who have been using it for two years are very happy with, very satisfied with, is selling it.

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10 responses to "Nissan CEO: We Believe In EVs, The LEAF Is Here To Stay, The Main Objective Now Is Selling It (video)"

  1. bloggin says:

    EVs are the future. Once we get to 200 base miles, 20 min quick charge starting below 30k, replacing an ICE commuter car is a no brainer.

    But as important it is to have public charging stations, whats equally important is development of more efficient/inexpensive solar panels for home charging. We don’t want the power companies to start jacking up the electric rates when consumers are captured(like the cable companies tv/internet/phone option), without another option.

    Ford has the right idea. Tie in the idea of solar panels at home, to sell electricity back to the power company, when going EV.

    http://us.sunpowercorp.com/homes/ford-focus-electric/

    1. Anthony says:

      “We don’t want the power companies to start jacking up the electric rates when consumers are captured”

      I don’t know where you live, but my electric company is very heavily regulated, and cant just raise rates because it feels like it. My electricity prices are way more stable than gas prices.

      1. kdawg says:

        Plus with so many sources of electricity, we are not tied to 1 product.

    2. Anderlan says:

      Charging time is limited by chemistry. Current lithium can charge from 20-80% in 30 minutes. This is true of your phone with one custom cell. This is true of your laptop with a few cells. This is true of a car with hundreds or thousands of cells, if it has enough power to fill all the battery’s cells at once. (A LEAF will charge to 80% with a 30kW DC station, but a Tesla will not because each the cells are not given their max charge rate. A 90kW supercharger, however, does fill the Tesla to 80% in 30 minutes.)

      It appears for a given standard lithium battery size, there is a max charge rate (kW) that will allow a 30 minute/80% charge. Below that and you waste time, and above that power level you still don’t get to 80% any faster than 30 minutes.

      So, an improved chemistry will have to come online for anyone to ever charge to 80% in 20 minutes. However, for a sufficiently long-range car (big battery), like a Tesla, 20 minutes at full power will often get you all the miles you need to complete your day.

      For a theoretical 500 mile car, getting 275 miles of range in 20 minutes from a 150kW charger would be quite nice. A lithium chemistry with the same recharging behavior, but cheaper and less weight/energy to enable 500 miles in a car, would have the same result as a new chemistry with better charging properties.

  2. Anthony says:

    “So, we are going to continue to lobby for more infrastructure. This is the No. 1 reason for which the sales are not growing faster.”

    Amen to this! Public Charging Infrastructure is the next step in the progress of EVs and EREVs. We don’t need larger incentives for purchasing the car, we need more infrastructure, we need the general public to see that the infrastructure being used, and isn’t overbuilt initially.

    The problem with investing in charging infrastructure is that there are threats to the standard charging station in the next five years – going wireless, cars that have 150+ mile ranges that don’t need recharging as often (compared to a Leaf or other current EV only getting 60-80 miles of range). So how do we proceed?

    1. kdawg says:

      More home/apartment/work/public parking deck charger incentives. If Walmart wants to put one in, that’s on their dime.

    2. Open-Mind says:

      I suspect there will not be enough charging stations until private vendors (restaurants, convenience stores, shopping centers, etc) can sell the electricity to create profits … much like they sell gasoline today. By “enough”, I mean so many that you rarely even have to worry about where the next one is … like gas stations.

      As long as private vendors have to compete with free/cheap public charging stations, they have no financial incentive to provide this service. Business owners will not try to compete with Santa Clause.

  3. Future Leaf Driver says:

    Nissan drops price on Leaf in Austrailia by over$15k!

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/nissan-leaf-gets-15000-price-cut-in-australia-81670

  4. GeorgeS says:

    “So, we are going to continue to lobby for more infrastructure. This is the No. 1 reason for which the sales are not growing faster.”

    Oh bull. Most people can do just fine by charging at home overnight. The number 1 reason is price…..and Nissan is doing good there. GM has a lot of catching up to do. My guess is that GM will DISAPPOINT on 2014 pricing. In fact GM has been doing nothing BUT disappoint lately IMO.

    1. Open-Mind says:

      I think another issue limiting EV sales is that every EV under $40K is either slow or weird-looking (or both), and they are still only available as 2WD 4-door sedans. No wagon/SUV (granted C-Max Energi is close). No coupe. No roadster. No truck. No AWD. No performance-car. That is also why Tesla (despite high price) is outselling the others.