Carlos Ghosn On Electric Car Range, Price & More – Video


Carlos Ghosn Discusses Electric Cars

Carlos Ghosn Discusses Electric Cars

When the topic of discussion is electric cars and the individual doing most of the talking is Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, we watch and listen.

We think you should too.

“Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer at Renault, talks with Caroline Hyde about the growth of electric car technology, why development of autonomous vehicles will take at least 10 years, and his outlook for car sales in Russia. He speaks from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on “The Pulse.”

There’s electric car range, price and more discussed in this 8-minute interview with Mr. Ghosn.

Categories: Nissan, Renault

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24 Comments on "Carlos Ghosn On Electric Car Range, Price & More – Video"

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lower price, more chargers, more range

Much better range “in the next year to come.”

I’m not counting on a guy who juggles English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Japanese not occasionally missing a plural.

He didn’t really say much. Cars will be better in the future? Ok, great…

You understand. I understand. But a whole mass of people think that this is it. That the electric car has a short range by nature. And will always be limited. So they wait for the brave new future: the hydrogen car.

The only way to change the public’s perception is to repeat the message over and over again until it sticks. That’s the way mass communication works.

If I could “like” or up-vote or whatever this comment 1,000 times, I would. As I’ve been saying for years, the biggest problem EVs face is not the cost of batteries or figuring out how to package bigger batteries into user-friendly form factors or even charging infrastructure. It’s consumer psychology. You can market a $20,000, 250-mile EV, and if people “know” that EVs are golf carts that can’t drive at highway speeds or “go in snow” (my all-time favorite question about my Leaf) or that they cost more than a gasoline vehicle to maintain and fuel, then they won’t buy them. Period. People make economic decisions based not on reality, but on their perception of reality. This is why I’ve been on my soap box for years saying that those of us driving EVs and PHEVs should do everything we can to help educate people. Sending a market signal by buying/leasing such a car is definitely a big deal, but just as big, IMO, is being good-will ambassadors for this technological revolution. True story: Two days ago, my wife and I were leaving a local grocery store in my Leaf, when a 70-ish woman walking through the parking lot motioned… Read more »

+ 111

We should focus our efforts on making the EV transition (from ICE) as painless as possible.

Some of the nonsense you see on this very site actually does a disservice to growing EV awareness.

1) Silly L3 Charge-100cars-in-24hours. It exposes how painful ALL current non-Tesla L3 charging is. A single bay that you have to hope is available and line up to finally get to plug in and wait 30mins so that you can drive up to 1 hour.

2) Silly blogs describing EV owners creeping on the freeway, or hunting high and low for a measly wall outlet or waiting hours with their poor kids just so they can prove their EVs can make the trip. ICE drivers will be thinking “how idiotic”.

Our efforts should focus on:
1) EV affordability
2) EV range (to reduce range anxiety)
3) EV charging (to reduce charge anxiety)
4) Charging should cost less than gas.

I find it enlightening and refreshing to read forums like the “Tesla Motors Club” and forum. There, you will see frank and open discussion of the cars’ problems, as well as their virtues. Thank goodness there are few if any on those forums who want to censor the posts to only say nice things about the cars.

The truth is that, with the possible exception of the Tesla Model S and its Supercharger network, EVs are stuck in the early adopter stage. Those who buy EVs need to understand what their limitations are. Trying to hide the truth from potential buyers will only lead to anger, buyers’ remorse, and a backlash against marketing EVs.

For the EV revolution to advance past the “early adopter” stage, EV makers need to have a good understanding of what buyers of the current generation don’t like, and what improvements they want. That can’t happen unless people can have a frank and honest discussion about both the pros and cons of EVs — not just the pros.

These are all great comments in this thread but I don’t think carmakers should focus too much on the current crop of EV owners. That is the issue I have with the gen 2 Volt. GM has made a great 2nd generation vehicle for current Volt owners. They improved it noticeably in many ways, especially those specific to EREV but ,IMO, didn’t do nearly enough to draw in new buyers. Tesla is the only one so far that is focused on making great cars that happen to be electric.

You are spot on.

I feel like this is what Tesla really does the best. They are building the flagship EVs to change the perception so every other OEM will be able to sell their own.

I look at EVs as a sub-brand, with Tesla as the halo vehicle, that gets people to consider a LEAF or Volt.

This man is continues to be one of my favorite people. He/they (Nissan) didn’t have to be as aggressive in this market as they are. But clearly, they believe.

I’ve often wondered why Ghosn/Nissan seem to be so much more enthusiastic about EVs compared to Toyota, Honda, Fiat-Chrysler, et al. It’s easy to point to the old “disruptive technology” thing and simply conclude that Ghosn sees EVs as a way to leap frog some competitors by embracing now a technology that will have a huge influence on motor vehicles in another 5 to 10 years. While I have no doubt that’s part of it, that only begs the question: Why don’t other car companies see this situation the same way? It’s tempting to trot out the old stereotypes of reactionary, ultraconservative “car guys” running these companies and having to be dragged kicking and screaming to go near anything new and different, but that, like the disruptive tech. thing, feels too simple. By comparison, I think I have a pretty good idea where Musk is coming from — he wants to change the world, and he sees EVs and storage of electricity (in home or in utility scale renewables) as key parts of that grand plan. (And I strongly agree with that view.) But Ghosn is a bit of a mystery, even though I’m delighted he’s pushing Nissan in this… Read more »

Hey Lou,

I think the difference is in the leadership structure of Nissan vs most traditional automakers.

Ghosn is basically god of Nissan/Renault/AutoVaz (especially after earlier power struggles with the board), so he can plan for the benefit of the company 2, 5, 10 years out and do what he thinks best..and doesn’t have to worry about his next quarterly/yearly report.

Lou- I’m as mystified as you are.
Jay- Perhaps that’s true?

Either way, I admire the guy who is going to an uncomfortable place even though he really doesn’t have to. For that, they will likely get my business. Right now we have a lease on a Chevy Volt, and I am happy that we voted with our $ to tell Chevy that we’re glad that they did the Volt (which really is a great and underappreciated vehicle). That said, our next town car will be a Leaf. Yes, it’s ugly, but Ghosn is the man. He supports my vision, so I’ll support his.

Lou Grinzo said: “It’s tempting to trot out the old stereotypes of reactionary, ultraconservative “car guys” running these companies and having to be dragged kicking and screaming to go near anything new and different, but that, like the disruptive tech. thing, feels too simple.” I don’t think there’s any mystery here. It’s a well established historical trend; it happens in -every- disruptive tech revolution. It’s not that the execs of legacy auto makers are necessarily “afraid” of EVs; it’s that their companies have spent decades and billions of dollars establishing a market for their cars. They know how to market gas guzzlers; that’s what they have experience with; it’s a safe bet to continue making and selling what they know. Contrariwise, EVs are a new technology. In entering that market, they can’t rely on their experience, and more importantly, they have no assurance they will be able to maintain their position as a market leader. It’s a gamble, and people who run multi-billion dollar companies which have spent decades establishing a reputation have a very strong aversion to gambling with the future of the company. As a historical example, look at what happened to Eastman Kodak: The company actually invented… Read more »


I’m pushing for “in the next 10-15 years” but 20-25 is more realistic. The consumer psychological shift could come very fast and possibly with the next gen 2017 promised vehicles but capacity has to ramp up too and that takes longer. Ability for non single family dwellers to recharge also needs to ramp up and that takes time too.

You should see some of the management conferences Ghosn has given to get a better picture of his thinking. In a nutshell, Ghosn is a truly global leader. He is as much a big picture guy as Musk, just in a different dimension. Ghosn was born in Brazil from a Lebanese family and studied in France, where he is based, loosely speaking, since he spends a lot of time in Japan. While Musk thinks in terms of humanity out into the future, Ghosn thinks in terms of humanity around the globe. Ghosn is fluent at least in Portuguese, French, English, and Arabic. Having been raised in Brazil he is especially focused on third world auto markets. He understands that if people in countries like India want cars, they will get them sooner or later, and he wants to be the one selling to them. Because he has a big picture view, he also realizes that there is no way you can have everybody in India and China driving ICE cars and have the planet survive. So he is investing in EVs, with a focus on cost, because he is looking at millions of want-to-be car buyers. He is coming at… Read more »

Me too. However Ghosn leads two companies that have a rich history in being different, as well as being conformist. Whilst the Datson 1600 and 180B were innovative for their time, it was the 240Z that stood out for its day, produced from a factory that also had a history of innovative standout products. The GTR remains a surprising vehicle in the Nissan stable if you don’t remember it’s origins. I think there is a culture within Nissan that can with confidence get behind innovation and transformative technologies for the long haul.

I too like listening to Ghosn. He usually has something interesting to say, with little marketing spin. Or is being upfront and straight talking good marketing in itself?

Agreed Ken, before the Renault/Nissan alliance he had made Renault (not the most reliable or best looking cars) Europe’s most profitable car maker for about 10 years. He’s brilliant and sees the biz/profit side of the future of BEVs and after two years now with my LEAF I’m glad he had the foresight.

I had no idea he was also head of AutoVaz.

Ghosn, is a real world superman. Taking three autocompanies from being money loosing dead ends. To becoming market leading + cash cows, and then on top keep running all of them at once. Just thinking of it makes me dizzy. He is a man with a clear vision, and with the ability to execute profitably. Truly impressive.

Well, he speaks clearly, doesn’t make stuff up and doesn’t mumble. Quality leadership.

agreed, he is a rockstar

I too appreciate the man’s juggling abilities. I am also hopeful that Nissan will roll out a last marginal range improvement to the LEAF 2011-2016 battery package. Try to get it to at least 130 miles epa rated. this would be a great reward to the bleeding edge 2011 and 12 buyers who want to upgrade their batteries before passing them to their teenagers when they buy their 200 miler.
I would also love to see the current leaf take even greater advantage of its electronics/telematics. How about a ‘no speeding ticket governor that the driver can set. I would love to keep my heavy foot from earning any more constabulary notice.

Another option would be a hill profile sensitive cruise control… keep distance and adjusts the speed swing to plus or minus 5 to 10 mph for hills… speeds up gradually on downhill runs to use gravity and then keeps consumption down on uphills by adjusting speed lower every 2 seconds or so to minimize climbing energy use. Working with eco route and such could really extend range for folks.
Good Luck Mr. Ghosn… we are with you!
Love our LEAFs… 2 in our fleet so far… looking for 3 in 2017.