It is a going to be a good day for news whenever either of the two most actively invested CEOs in the electric car business are holding court with the media.
Perhaps only second to Tesla CEO in public appearances (and off the cuff remarks), Nissan-Renault boss, Carlos Ghosn took the mic at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan to talk about all things electric. In this case, the LEAF, an upcoming new EV product from Nissan, and sales/production in China.
Carlos Ghosn, Hand Talker
On the matter of the Nissan LEAF, the CEO says that the company is not done with the car now that the 2013 upgrades are out. Mr. Ghosn says Nissan knows the price and the range anxiety behind the car is still present, and Nissan "knows the solution" and is implementing change, which will see sales of the car "take off."
"Let’s not forget that today we have two main headwinds in front of the LEAF. First is the price of the vehicle. Second is what we call the range-anxiety infrastructure, which is about the same problem. Where am I going to charge the car if I’m going to go for a long distance? It’s clear. We know the solution. We’re working on them – we’re implementing. And I’m sure that little by little, removing these obstacles we’re going to see the sales of the car taking off very quickly."
Nissan New Mobility Concept Better Known As The Renault Twizy In Europe
And while the CEO is focused on the company's main product, the LEAF, he also lets slip that Nissan is collaborating with Renault for a new small city car offering. Does this mean the Renault Twizy will indeed be rebadged as the Nissan New Mobility Concept? Or is there another car in the works? (please Lord, bring the Renault Zoe to the US)
"The first priority is selling more and more LEAF, making sure electric cars are no longer a niche product, but a segment of the market that is extremely important and one that people like. That’s our first priority.
That doesn’t mean we’re not going to develop other cars. We have other cars coming. We have light commercial vehicles. We’re going to develop a city car with the collaboration of Renault."
Nissan LEAFs Built And Sold In China Will Be Under The Venucia Brand (and will apparently suffer some unfortunate re-branding designs)
Then the CEO talks about some stuff in China, that few of us really care all that much about (if we are being honest), but is more than important to the Renault-Nissan alliance when they are looking at the bigger picture:
"We are going to localize the LEAF in China, but it’s going to be under a Chinese brand that is managed, by the way, by our company in China. And we want to be in the leadership position in China. When the government has said that they want 2 million electric cars in 2020 in China, we will do everything we can in order to be in the leadership in this important position. This means you can expect to see the new electric cars in Nissan to be localized very soon."
One thing is for sure, Nissan-Renault is all-in on electric vehicles.