Nissan Chairman: “We Need To Promote Electric Vehicles First Rather Than Hydrogen”


Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga Also Took Over The Zero Emission Program For Nissan In November of 2012

Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga Also Took Over The Zero Emission Program For Nissan In November of 2012

Nissan has no intention of jumping on the hydrogen fuel cell bandwagon anytime in the near future.  Instead, the Japanese automaker will continue its focus on electric vehicles.

Nissan Vice Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga, who personally took over the reins for the company’s EV program two years ago after a slow start, stated in a recent interview:

“We need to promote the electric vehicle first rather than hydrogen.”

Shiga says Nissan won’t “rush” to join the hydrogen players, but admits that even Nissan will likely promote fuel cell vehicles at some point “in the long-term future.”

Quoting Shiga:

“At the moment we are showing quite good results for the electric vehicle sales . . . we have a quite optimistic view for the future of EV expansion.  Nissan is still the leader of the electric vehicle (and) wants to keep the lead in the world.”

“At the moment, especially in the case of Japan, the cost or investment for a hydrogen station is still quite expensive, even though the government is now ready to provide some subsidy.”

“Without government support, it is quite difficult to launch fuel-cell cars now, not only in Japan but also other countries. The electric vehicle is (currently) more economically feasible for the customers.”

When asked to discuss China, Shiga responded:

“The Chinese government is now strongly pushing, promoting to increase EV (sales), especially to reduce air pollution in the country. Maybe there are a lot of opportunities for us to expand. We are looking for new Chinese customers and to launch new products which are more focused on the younger generation, the post-’80s generation.”

Source: Japan Times

Category: Nissan

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32 responses to "Nissan Chairman: “We Need To Promote Electric Vehicles First Rather Than Hydrogen”"
  1. Djoni says:

    Of course is right!
    Everybody knows that.
    Hydrogen will alway be the long terme future as when everything else will have fail or vanished.
    I’d say one million year’s is fair estimate.
    Whithout overwelming subsidie it would be over before it start.
    You just can’t contredict science.

  2. scott franco says:

    Its good that Nissan remains “committed to electric cars”. However the evidence now is that Nissan remains committed to milking a cash cow. Since its introduction, the leaf has seen only marginal improvements in range, and even that has completely halted in the ensuing years, to be replaced only by promises.

    Chademo chargers get a lot of hype, but the reality is, at least here in California, that Chademo is stuck in the busiest cities where it has little or no mission, since most charging is done by home charge followed by workplace charging using L2. The Chademo chargers widely installed at Nissan Dealerships are virtually useless, since they are hour limited, requiring permission from the dealer, and are often blocked by the dealers own cars. The largest deployer of Chademo, Blink, is very aptly named. A significant number of their chargers are on the blink, and calls to their organization are less than useless.

    I don’t mean to sound like a downer on Nissan. Here in Silicon valley, Leaf use is clearly growing. I can count the number of Leafs passing through the intersection while waiting at a light. But this is a niche car, used for commuting, used as a second car. The Teslas, large in number, but small in comparison to leaf, run around this mix like Darth Vader among the sheep, with more than 3 times the range of a leaf, offering a cruel glimpse of what the electric car could be.

    All in all, we have to be grateful that EVs are widely available and affordable. I would argue that if this is all we have achieved, this is a rather sad result.

    Scott F.

    1. Djoni says:

      Agreed with you that the progress coul’d have been much better.
      On the other hand, you can say the same for the ICE car, but within a hundred year of existence.
      Not so much progress.
      The EVolution is just beginning and promising much better improvment than any FCV could do, because everyones know where the limit of FCV is and speculate about where BEV could get.
      We’r getting there, just not as fast as somme hope.

    2. Djoni says:

      Then it seems some got it right with the infrastructure DFCC between main destination.
      We are still waiting for some supercharger!

    3. BravelilToaster says:

      You have to take a long-term view of it though. The fact is, that even if we were to immediately replace every ICE car with an EV, it would still take 20 years for all the old ICEs to go away.

      On top of that, we have an entire infrastructure to replace. Someday, I’d hope that there’d be even a *third* as many quick chargers as there are gas stations, and that day would be a day to behold, because it would mean that even the shortest range EVs could basically go anywhere.

      We’re making amazing strides already, although it feels like excruciatingly slow progress. Remember that the first mass-market EVs only came into existence only at the beginning of 2012, so it’s only been 3 years.

  3. Priusmaniac says:

    Right that is all good and well but now it is time to move on and expend the models and ev range. Go on and propose extra ev models. There is a huge need for the very first affordable ev sedan with a good ev range and a rex option. Something the size of a Nissan Maxima with 5 doors,seating five and with a real trunk.

    1. scott franco says:

      Agree with everything except for rex.

      Bad dog, bad dog. No biscuit.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        I see it as an option not an obligation just like leather seats.

    2. Mikael says:

      That sounds like a great idea. Especially including the REX option since it makes it possible to go anywhere at any time.
      It would definitely help to get over the early adopters threshhold to the massmarket adoption.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Exactly and I would give supercharge as an option as well.

  4. no comment says:

    electric vehicle technology is still evolving so there is no way of knowing what the winning technology will be, whether it be BEV, PHEV, FCV or some other technology. if i were to rank the technologies in terms of prospects of viability in the marketplace based on the current state of the technology, i would rank them: 1)PHEV; 2)BEV; and 3)FCV. but at present, they are *all* niche technologies.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Then the Leaf niche starts to be very big. I wonder what the sales number are for a not to successful classic petrol car but there must start to be overlap in sales numbers between the Leaf and some classic car models.

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        The Leaf outsells every model from Infiniti, and as of November, it ranked #124 is US sales by model. Many, many cars sell fewer units.

        1. no comment says:

          the Leaf also outsells the mercedes-benz s-class so the point that you are attempting to make is not a significant one. about 2,000 Leaf’s get sold each month. that’s not high volume in the automotive industry when they sell more toyota camry’s in a single day.

  5. Kaiser says:

    Hydrogen refueling stations are expensive, but so are batteries. If a refueling station serves 2,000 cars it may make up for its cost in battery savings alone, but only if an FCEV costs substantially less than an EV of equivalent range. Aside from the source of the hydrogen itself, this remains the big question.

    1. The problem is, hydrogen refueling stations don’t serve 2,000 cars a day. It’s not a liquid fuel, it’s gaseous.

      The $2,500,000 hydrogen station that just went into Sacramento can service 70 cars per day. Seventy.

      Toyota plans to put 3,000 FCVs on US roads by 2017. I believe that is the end of 2017.

      Three thousand. Three years from now.

  6. scott franco says:

    Unreal that people are running around seriously proposing FCVs as an alternative. The idea of EVs was to get RID of smog. EVs are the only car that does that.

    I didn’t come to the EV revolution to relocate my smog down the street. If thats the eventual result, then I am back to gas.

    1. no comment says:

      right now, it is more expensive to generate “clean” hydrogen; but not all electricity is produced cleanly either. there is no doubt that FCV has a long way to go on the technology growth curve but the same can be said for electric vehicle technology in general. i am not a big believer in the long term prospects for BEVs, PHEVs have the advantage that they can substantially cut gasoline usage while still preserving the flexibility that people have come to expect with ICEs. FCVs offer the convenience of ICEs with the ability to power an electric vehicle while producing water vapor as “exhaust”. there are big questions about how practical FCVs will be even if you could reduce the cost of clean hydrogen generation. i mean, if you want to take a long trip and have to stop every hour for a hydrogen refill, that isn’t going to be very convenient.

    2. Dan says:

      It would seem that you are saying that unless electricity in a given locale is sourced cleanly, there’s no benefit to EV over ICE. After all, you’re just relocating smog down to the power plant…

  7. Robert says:

    There is a class of vehicle that is missed: the Fuel Cell PHEV, or FCEREV. But give us 60 miles Battery EV Range, and 200 miles FC Range, with the abillity to drive on either source if the other is depleted. Put the H2 stations at Freeway Service Centers. Big Cities would only need 2 or 3 H2 Stations as you would not see much of them with 95% of daily driving covered by home and public charging. Just give the car a decent AC charger at 6.6 kW+, and DCQC Capability too!

    1. Robert says:

      Chevy was working on this this idea in 2010 with a FC power plant in the Volt. I saw it in Toronto. Where did that go?

      1. kubel says:

        It died with E-Flex. Remember, the Volt was sold to the public in 2007 as a pure series hybrid. The lack of any mechanical connection between the range extender and the drive wheels made the system flexible- you could drop anything in there- more batteries, diesel, hydrogen, CNG… But when it rolled off the assembly line, it was a parallel hybrid (although a very electrically dominant one). It was no longer flexible, so E-Flex because Voltec, and the whole idea died.

        That’s not to say Volt sucks, but it would require a whole new drive unit to make it work on a range extender that doesn’t rely on mechanical energy.

        1. Brownstone says:

          A new drive unit wouldn’t be required at all. Volt can run on electricity 100% of the time. if you pull out the ice, lock the clutch connecting the smaller MG to the chassis, and add anything else that can move electricity into the battery, then you have a working range extender. H2, CNG or diesel it all works, I’m not saying that any of those are preferable to gasoline at the moment, but they wouldn’t be difficult to build

        2. Dan says:

          No, it would not.

          The Volt CAN run entirely from the electric motors; this much should be obvious from the fact that, well, it DOES (when on battery). The electric motors are capable of propelling the car to its top speed.

          The reason why the Volt runs as a parallel hybrid is because at high speeds, it is more efficient/effective to do that than to run as a series hybrid. It should be rather trivial to change the Volt software to simply never engage the clutches that turn the car into a parallel hybrid, which would make it a series hybrid. You would just get worse MPG and worse performance by doing so.

          GM’s engineers evaluated the ability to say “there is no mechanical connection to the wheels” vs. the improved efficiency of making that connection, and made what any objective person would consider to be the correct choice.

  8. Phr3d says:

    Holiday ramblings..

    Properly engineered Nukes:
    reinforced concrete exceeding the bomb-shelter resilience and containment we presently use to protect our politicians. All Nuclear products are delivered, removed, stored in said containment device, x-meters
    underground. End of life or catastrophic failure, flood it and seal it – done. No humans ever come in contact with the fuel, excepting transport To the facility. Facility located in desert, away from life. Water is initially transported there, stored and recycled, transport more to add as needed. Cooled geo-cooled underground.

    Recycled metals poured into reinforced concrete cylinders, approximately parallel to I-80, sea to shining. Awt-equiv load carriage TBD, but Huge. Earthquake-proof (but if we’re wrong, you open it up and pour in more metal to ‘heal’). This is the grid backbone. All nuclear generated power is transported to and through here for distribution downstream across the nation. Communities tap into the backbone and pay upon usage. Usage depends upon local renewables generation, base load provided by x-number of nuclear located in desert. All initial (read Governmental) costs to be paid by electric fees, but a constant source of new taxes.

    All unused nuclear base-load and over-produced renewables generate (via presently horribly-inneficient electrolysis) hydrogen, to be stored in dead CG caverns. CG first is blended with current NG up to 15% (requires no modification to existing NG devices) and over time, offered pure as devices are designed to run on it, weening from NG.

    Excess H2 -can- be used to fill PHEVs.

    Gas stations -can- store: first CNG/H2 blend for CNG PHEV, weening into H2 only.

    Solar/wind -can- be used by individuals for personal electrolysis.

    This -could- work as the MilIndustrial structure could be re-purposed to accomplish this, over 50 years. That means that two generations of powerful and politicos could line their pockets with corruption-income, as long as the U.S. Military NCOs had unfettered control over QC. Call it Homeland
    Security, post-cold-war, whatever – drum up post-WWII excitement and greed.

    (repurposed) Jobs along the lines of rural electrification and low-cost (at least definitive cost) power forever, no oil, and even the oil conglomeration makes a ton in (very important) Their lifetimes – 50 years
    to figure a New way to play-the-system (caverns, buy H2 low, sell high, but still with competion).

    Fully operational circa 2050, fully balanced and self-sufficient circa 2070. Our grandchildren thank us.

    /exit podium

    1. Djoni says:

      This is a very complicated and expansive way of doing what can be done otherwise.
      It would need overhead, administration, lawers, fees, supervision, testing and will eventually fail to be sustained in the next crisis budget cut!
      Nuc is a threat for all living thing and will alway’s be.
      Put human in the equation just add to the desase.
      Projecting trouble in the future is no way solving your problem now.

  9. John F says:

    How do you keep the cars of the future running? Recharging or refueling? If your answer is recharging, then roll out more Level 3 chargers. Nothing promotes electric vehicles better than a network of Level 3 chargers. Tesla has their supercharger map. Show us the Chademo rollout maps. You can’t just wish for this to happen instead of hydrogen refueling. You have to make it happen.

  10. Mark C says:

    DCFC are needed on all arterial roads at not greater than 50 mile intervals, starting about 15 miles outside most cities. And they need to be installed in groups of at least four. Add to that ENFORCED laws to prevent ICEing and EV’s from sitting there not needing/being charged.

    When longer range EV’s are commonplace, more longer distance travel will take place. I’m certain gas stations didn’t just appear by the thousands, but charging infrastructure seems painfully slow in being rolled out. It will take state & local governments participation to make this happen. Not many seem very interested. I’d also suggest video monitoring of the EV Charging area so when {not IF} they are vandalized, the vandals can be prosceuted.

    1. Han says:

      A simple camera, which takes picture on a regular basis (5min) and uploads to the server should solve the problem of EV spots being ICEed.

      All you need is to take a picture of the license plate at the back of the ICE car as the evidence.

      1. John F says:

        I generally agree with Mark C on the needs for all arterial roads. An alternate would include some standard sign and symbol for the type of Level 3 or DCFC offered immediately near an exit. You shouldn’t always need a navigation system to find one.
        I also like the video and cameras for improving safetly and availability.

  11. I hope Nissan starts to sell the E-NV200 here in the US. I hope they hit a home run with the 2nd gen Leaf – with a 150-200 mile range and sleek looks and better rear seat legroom.