2015 Nissan LEAF

2015 Nissan LEAF

Automotive News spoke with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at the recent 2015 New York Auto Show. Most of Ghosn's comments were related to electric cars.

Specifically, Ghosn was asked whether or not the volume of LEAF sales support Nissan's massive investment in battery manufacturing in the U.S. Ghosn responded:

"The basic plan is based on 50,000 cars a year.

"Selling 50,000 EVs in North America should not be, in my opinion, a task which is beyond our capacity. I feel very good about the capacity we have today."

If the plan calls for 50,000 annual LEAF sales in the U.S., then Nissan still has a ways to go.  In 2014, Nissan LEAF sales in the U.SA totaled 30,200 units.

According to Ghosn, the main roadblock for EVs is the U.S.' lacking charging infrastructure:

"As long as you don't have charging infrastructure, you know, we're not going to see a very strong development of the electric car. And the countries which are going to have this charging infrastructure are going to see a very big burst of zero-emission vehicles."

The infrastructure issue is problematic, mostly because it's so time consuming to build it up:

"Unfortunately, it's decisions made by government, and execution made by the states, the cities and the communities, which means that we're going to have to be patient."

Ghosn was questioned about the LEAFs range too. According to Ghosn, range is not the issue, but infrastructure certainly is:

"First car I bought -- did I care about the range of the car? No, I didn't care about the range. And you know why? Because we have a gasoline station every three, four miles, wherever I am.

"So I don't care about the car driving 300 miles.  The main problem is the charging infrastructure, OK? The range is going to help, but it's not going to solve."

Source: Automotive News