With An 8-Year Jump on its German Competition, Nissan Shows No Concern Over Upcoming VW, BMW or Mercedes-Benz EVs

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 15

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

With an 8-year lead on its German competition, Nissan sees no cause for concern over the recent electric vehicle activity from the likes of Volkswagen, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

LEAF

LEAF

In fact, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn welcomes the competition with these words from Frankfurt:

“The more companies that buy into electric cars, the better it is.”

“I hear we have competition, and I welcome it.  Little by little every car maker will enter the electric car field. This industry cannot run without electric cars and hybrid cars.”

Most of Ghosn’s comments came when he was asked whether or not Volkswagen bold EV offensive would disrupt Nissan’s electric vehicle efforts.  Ghosn basically responded by saying it’s about time the German automaker came on board.

Similarly, Nissan’s executive vice president Trevor Mann had this to say in regards to VW’s offensive.

“Everybody seems to be piling in, and that gives great credibility to our strategy, but we’ve got an eight-year jump on our competitors.”

“We started on our EV journey eight years ago. We said we would be number one and we are.”

As the Wall Street Journal points out, VW stated back in 2010 that the electric vehicle ambitions of Nissan and Renault were “sheer lunacy.” 

Well, it now finally seems that VW is ready to join the “lunacy.”  ‘Bout time.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Tags: , , , , , ,

15 responses to "With An 8-Year Jump on its German Competition, Nissan Shows No Concern Over Upcoming VW, BMW or Mercedes-Benz EVs"

  1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Better 10% of a lot than 33% of a little.

  2. Bloggin says:

    Clearly Renault/Nissan is concerned, which is why they are cautious not to expand production in the US after Volt announced the $4k drop.

    And rightly so after the Volt plug-in hybrid August sales of about 1k units more than Leaf, and C-Max/Fusion Energi sales increased about 50% each. And for 2014, GM ELR Plug-in hybrid, VW EV and plug in hybrid, BMW EV and plug in hybrid and MB EV and plug in hybrid will launch even more EVs and plug-in hybrids that take even more of the tiny EV market.

    What plug-in hybrid sales are telling Renault/Nissan is that their EV ONLY plan is not turning out to be the best plan to enter a growing electrified vehicle market. More plug-in vehicle options is better, but for most, a plug-in hybrid is the best option. Which leaves Renault/Nissan out.

    1. Mint says:

      Pure EVs will have their niche, and it has hardly reached saturation yet. I can see 10-20% of multi-car households eventually buying one EV, and that’s 5-10M cars.

      But you’re right that plugin hybrids are the future. At the very least we’ll see i3-like range extenders in EVs. There’s no question in my mind that automakers can make 30hp range extenders for $2-3k.

      1. scott moore says:

        The right answer is:

        25 by 25. %25 percent of all cars in the USA by 2025. It even rhymes. I’ll put money on it.

        Remember, revolutions are NOT linear.

        1. Mint says:

          25% will be pure EVs? Or plugins?

          My thought is that by 2025, range extenders will get cheap enough to be a no brainer option. Tata builds a whole car with a 38hp motor for $2500. Cheap motors with a generator will be the same price as maybe 10 kWh of battery.

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Nissan (and everyone else) needs to start getting their battery densities up and prices down. Tesla is years ahead of everyone else at the moment in both of those areas.

  3. scott moore says:

    Guess I am glad to be with the “outs”…..

  4. vdiv says:

    “Volkswagen bold EV offensive”
    BUAHAHAHA!
    Oh please, help me, I can’t stop cracking up…

  5. Spec says:

    Nissan knows that by the time the i3 and eGolf hit the USA, Nissan will have a more advanced and perhaps less expensive version of the Leaf.

  6. Future Leaf Driver says:

    “Nissan sees no cause for concern” – That’s because they have something in the works!

    Look out, 150 mile range coming!!!

  7. Bill Howland says:

    Regarding having an Edge, Gm could have married 2 volts and/or 2 sparkev’s together and gotten a $90,000 Cadillac Fleetwood sized premium luxury EV with 330 hp ( 2 times 110 plus 55), a double sized (170 hp ) 4 cyl extender, and 48 kwh battery for 100 miles of pure ev driving, then with a 20 gallon gas tank have another 500 miles of range, so 600 total.

    Since the drive train combo is 2 synergy drives and one engine, it wouldn’t be deeper than a volt, just wider, so a la Lotus Elise they could have a Frunk besides the huge trunk in the back. GM’s plain 3.3 kw charger, or, teslaesque, optionally 2 of them for 6.6 kw so the thing will fully charge overnight.

    Style it right and it will sell like hotcakes, with no competiton for years.

    1. Brian says:

      What you propose would indeed have no competition. However, don’t forget the fact that for such a large car, it would have severely compromised cargo space. Ford’s Energi lineup seems to show us what happens when you compromise cargo space…

  8. Dan says:

    Bloggin is on the money…

    see libralatodotcodotuk

  9. Brian says:

    Is Nissan really 8 years ahead? They say they started 8 years ago, but did VW really just start today? It seems to me that VW has been working on this for a while. I know for a fact that BMW has been working on electrics for many years. The Mini-E was on the road for at least a year before the Leaf was. Sure, it was lease only test program, but it proves they were working the technology. The way I count it, they are 3-5 years ahead at best – they have been selling EVs since 2010* (nominally, they released a few, realistically since 2011). Many of these companies will be selling cars in 2014 or 2015.

    I see two upsides for Nissan with more competition – 1) more awareness and 2) more push for infrastructure. In the latter, of course, Nissan will probably have to push for dual CCS-CHAdeMO quick chargers since all the new competition is nominally in the CCS camp.

    1. Spec says:

      Yeah, 8 years ahead is a ridiculous exaggeration. Nissan definitely has some advantages but BMW is bringing it on with their nice light-weight carbon fiber panels and the concept of a BEVx.