Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn
At the opening breakfast of the ongoing New York Auto Show, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn once again explained and supported his forward stance on electric vehicles.
Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 in France
Ghosn believes there are some factors that are making it difficult for EVs, but he says, "I still think it's just a temporary slow down."
One factor, according to Ghosn, is an agreement made in Paris last year at the climate change conference (COP21). The agreement focuses on limiting global temperature change.
UN explanation of the agreement:
The goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century was first agreed to in Copenhagen and then by all countries at the Cancun Climate Conference in 2010. It recognizes that climate change is already occurring, but that if we act now, we can avoid the worst impacts of a changing climate.
The COP22 is coming up in November in Morocco, and since transportation still makes up 17 percent of global CO2 emissions, Ghosn believes:
"There is no way - no way - we're going to reach anything around two degrees without the substantial reduction in CO2 from the transportation system. And the only obvious, known technology which allows that is electrification."
Ghosn maintains that three things can boost EV purchases:
- More government incentives (to buyers and automakers)
- Reduced cost
- Reality of climate change to the masses
"Governments, in order to encourage the industry, they're going to have to finally build the infrastructure. Obviously, there is already a lot of incentives in China, Norway, France, Japan and in the United States for electric cars, but it's going to get much bigger. That's why all the carmakers are coming with electric cars. And if they don't come with electric cars, they're coming with another technology, which is hydrogen fuel cells, which is basically also an electric car. So, if you want to see the results you've got to understand how much we're going to have to reduce the cost of the electric car. Governments, in order to encourage the industry to move in this direction, they're going to have to finally build the infrastructure. The main problem of electric cars is people complaining that there is no infrastructure."
"Today, nobody asks question about how much range you have in a car you buy, because there are gasoline stations all over the place. But if you go to a country where there is no gasoline station, well, you're going to be very, very careful when buying a car. We have the exact same situation today with electric cars. So, development of the infrastructure, reducing the cost, and waiting until the emissions restrictions come to the table, and you're gonna see the size of the effort that we're going to have to do. For me, the only viable, existing technology that allows that is electrification and, particularly, electric cars. Fuel cells are another option, but if you think we have a problem with infrastructure of electric cars, imagine the hydrogen stations."
See the related interview with Carlos Ghosn below: