Nissan’s Andy Palmer: Nissan Will Be “Absolute #1 Leader In Zero Emissions. No Doubt”


2015 Nissan LEAF

2015 Nissan LEAF

Nissan's Andy Palmer

Nissan’s Andy Palmer

There’s no denying the fact that Nissan is currently the world leader in sales of zero emission vehicles.

Looking into the future, will Nissan maintain its #1 position?  Andy Palmer, Nissan’s chief planning officer, says absolutely:

“When it comes to zero emissions, we’re absolutely religious.  We’ll be the absolute, No. 1 leader in zero emissions. No doubt. That’s our positioning.”

Being number one will require high sales volume, so what’s the sales target for Nissan second mass-production electric vehicle: e-NV200?  Quoting Palmer:

“What’s the point of putting a volume on it? Because basically all it does is set a point of reference.  People that doubt or dislike or don’t have the technology [use that point of reference] to demonstrate failure.”

Instead, Palmer points to the fact that it took Toyota  full five years to reach 100,000 cumulative hybrid sales, a figure that the Nissan LEAF surpassed in only 3.5 years.

“In the context of global nameplates, this is already not a niche.”

“Humanity cannot sustain this.  We need zero emissions.”

We agree.  Zero emissions is the future.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Nissan

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36 Comments on "Nissan’s Andy Palmer: Nissan Will Be “Absolute #1 Leader In Zero Emissions. No Doubt”"

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2 word question for Nissan: Battery Volume?

Jouni Valkonen

Indeed, Tesla is already ahead of Nissan if sales are measured by EV battery capacity.

Also Tesla is ahead of Nissan in terms of revenue from plug-in vehicle sales.

From economic point of view, both of these metrics are more important than actual number of sales. This is because Nissan LEAF is typically the second car in the family, where as Tesla S is the primary car in the family.


If you drive a Leaf 6 days a week and the mini-van/SUV one day a week why isn’t the Leaf the primary vehicle?


@Steve: +1 🙂

@Jouni: since Palmer is making the claim here from a sustainability perspective, from that perspective any EV’s battery needs to be as small as possible while providing the driver’s needs.

While it’s frustrating for me on the narrow personal level, to take my 2nd Leaf lease on a battery that’s little changed from the 1st one, I applaud Nissan for its patience and perseverance in squeezing more and more consumer value and broader appeal from the original (ok, original-plus) Leaf design.

They have been actively educating us spoiled Western consumers, with great success I must admit. Business-wise, they make sure they have enough breath to continue expanding capacity (both production volume and battery volume) and introduce more EV types, while not losing their shirt.

As Palmer says, they’re in it for the long haul.

It’s great to have Tesla as a beacon of what’s possible technologically. But it’s just as great to have a major automaker with such a solid commitment and a winning strategy for turning out a genuine mass-market BEV. It’s a win-win, not a zero-sum.

Agreed. Mass market is the key. What’s important for electrified transportation is the gross number of plugs on the road, which Nissan is leading. As much as I love Tesla, which reminds me of Apple in so many ways, there is no way as many people will be able to afford a Model S, or Model X, or former Model E as can afford a Leaf. And, there aren’t as many people that can afford a Leaf, as can afford a Smart EV, or iMiev or Spark. I welcome them all. We need them all. Jouni, it’s a broad statement to say the Model S is “usually” the primary car, while the Leaf is relegated to being the second car. It all depends on the family’s driving needs. I do a lot of public EV events with my Leaf, and I always tell people it’s a fabulous second car. I’m not saying that anymore. In our family, it’s taken over 90% of all of our driving, while our Honda Civic Hybrid is for road trips. Maybe it was my legacy gas-tank thinking, but now I see Steve is right. The Leaf is indeed our primary car, the Civic our secondary.… Read more »
Jouni Valkonen

Only non-sustainable part in traditional car manufacturing is the dependence on scarce oil. It is irrelevant for electric car how big/safe car is because they are running on perfectly sustainable solar and wind electrons.

On the contrary, as Tesla has larger battery, it can utilize better the intermittent renewable energy, because Tesla can be charged only on the most windy day of the week. Where as short ranged Nissan must be charged everyday indifferently how intermittent renewables are available.

Therefore, in matter of fact, Tesla S is potentially more sustainable car than Nissan LEAF.

Jouni Valkonen

In Norway, Nissan LEAF is the cheapest car available due to fabulous incentives, but still LEAF has only less than 4 % market share, despite having virtually a monopoly there. Only recently VW has brought LEAF competing EVs (eUp and eGolf). This tells something that actually LEAF is as far removed from being a mass market car as it can be.


LOL. I’ve been driving Leaf as my primary – scratch that – ONLY car for 3 years.

CO2 emissions reduced doesn’t depend on the revenue that the car generates – but on number of vehicles sold & miles driven.


I mean battery [production] volume. Tesla has none as of yet. But the plans are well publicized.


Think ahead and logistically. There’s a giant manufacturing ecosystem that has to run here.


Nissan already has multiple dedicated battery factories. Tesla hasn’t even broken ground on theirs and is currently wholly dependent on (and constrained by) Panasonic. I think Nissan is in a much better position to really ramp up production.


I think Nissan is excited about the Leaf 2. They know when it is coming out, we don’t. Based on Carlos statement of selling 5K leafs per month in the U.S. during 2015, I suspect it will come out in 2015 as a 2016 model.
The 150 mile leaf battery tech will also be applied to E-nv200 and infiniti.
Any estimates when the infiniti car is coming?


Has Infiniti hired a new guy yet? I thought Nissan was going to drop the Infiniti line a couple years ago.


Nissan said that Andy Palmer will be running the Infiniti division for the time being.


An article on this site not long ago cited very early 2016 for the Infiniti followed almost immediately by the Gen. 2 LEAF.


Well you better get busy. You’ve been kinda sitting on your behind since that price-cut.


How do you figure? The 2013 was a heavily redesigned version of the same car. They’ve supposedly introduced the heat resistant battery for 2015. They’ve launched the e-nv200. Rumors are they longer range version coming in 2016.
With the same cynicism, what has Tesla done in this time? Model X keeps getting postponed. Gen III keeps getting postponed. Model S is largely identical to when it was originally announced.
What has anyone else done? Released more compliance cars mostly, except for the i3 with similar range to the LEAF, smaller interior but much higher price tag.


I sometimes find that EV enthusiasts have an unhealthy desire to put down other EVs when they feel “their” car is being attacked. Tesla has had a sterling record of updating software (and sometimes hardware) mostly for free, throughout the lifetime of the Model S. If you doubt this, take a look at the number of updates since 2012 here:


At least they sound serious, which is good because VW claim they will be the leader.

Mike I

VW claims they will be the leader in “electrification”, not Zero Emissions. VW’s plan is solidly based on PHEV, not BEV. They just have their compliance e-Golf and that will be it with Zero Emissions for quite some time. Yes, I’m neglecting the R8 e-Tron on purpose because it will be insignificant in the big picture of the VW group.


VW does not seem to concentrate per se on PHEV, I feel they let the customer decide, producing all drivetrains on the same assembly line.


That is exactly what Ford claims. We have seen the results.

It is a question of marketing support, infrastructure support, pricing and a bunch of other things. Customer decision is based on all these.


The difference is that Ford simply stuffs new drive trains into bodies designed for ICE, with the inevitable consequences for accomodation.

VW has spent $5 billion or so on all new multi-drivetrain compatible platforms, and if you look inside them it shows.


They have the e-UP too, that is doing really good.
Volkswagen should be able to compete in the category pure EV’s too.

The will be leaders in PHEV’s, maybe in pure EV’s too and definitely when combined.

It’s great if Nissan will try hard to keep the title because then we might see some very healthy competition pushing the line.

Suprise Cat

Where is the e-Up doing good? It did barely reach 1% of all Up! sales. That’s a total failure.


It’s doing good in the EV world. Even though EV’s have puny numbers they are rising.

It sold 718 in May in Europe. The total sales of Up’s in Europe in May was 12112. That is almost 6%.

If every other car model in the world could do what the e-Up is doing then there would be 400 000 EV’s sold per month.


At the price differential with the petrol Up, even where subsidised, that is hardly surprising.

Battery electric cars with the possible exception of the Tesla S are still very much a subsidy, incentives and mandates game, and have a very long way to go to be competitive.

Norway has massive incentives, tax derogations, bus lane privileges and so on.
Sales are high although don’t forger that even there with such large and unsustainable incentives the vast majority still buy ICE.

Germany has no incentives, and the sales charts there are very much in dead parrot territory.

BEVs and maybe PHEVs have an enormous distance to travel to be fully competitive ex incentives.

In the Up class of small city runabouts almost all Europeans go for the conventional, cheap to buy option, which as a city run about tends to do low mileage anyway and are very economical and fuel, whilst still being perfectly capable of long runs.

Not just the E-Up, but all BEV cars below Tesla level don’t make a whit of financial sense in most of Europe, or from the convenience POV.

Until they do the petrol versions will continue to dominate.

David Murray

I’m really surprised Nissan hasn’t announced any other electrified vehicles since the Leaf. Yeah, I know the e-NV2000, but that isn’t a mass-market vehicle for consumers. I keep waiting for them to announce a BEV or PHEV Altima, Rogue, Murano, or Frontier. They don’t really even have any serious hybrid offerings. The pathfinder hybrid is sort of a joke, in my opinion.

Mike I

Pathfinder’s sibling, the QX60 Hybrid is also a joke. The Infiniti QX60 is a nice vehicle, but that hybrid drivetrain is ridiculous. The e-motor is only 15kW. They need to make the front e-motor/generator 25kW and add at least 15kWh of batteries (with a plug) and a 100kW e-motor to the rear axle. That’s a drivetrain worthy of pushing around a 4,600lb vehicle.


Ugh! SUVs! Gimme a RWD Z-car or resurrect the 240sx/Sylvia with the 150mi battery pack. Now we’re talking!


They have said the Blade Glider is going to production. As long as they retain the 1+2 seating configuation this will be my next car. IMO by the time it arrives (2016-ish) it will have the +/- 200 mile battery and possibly Nissan’s first use of in-hub motors.

It’s good to see Nissan put a stake in the ground. Refreshing to see a major automaker flatly state that zero emissions is a leading requirement.


I have been driving my 2014 LEAF since Feb and love it. What I would love to see from Nissan is an all wheel drive electric Xterra with a at least a 400 km range. I would love to see something for cold weather countries with the ability to travel great distances through extreme weather. Would be nice to see one even as a concept car.


The new Rogue is a great vehicle. If Nissan put a large battery in that (think rav-4ev) they couldn’t keep them on the lot.


Nissan is boldly saying that they are in this game for the long haul. That’s not a threat to Tesla, different customer base. Of course we’d all love a 300 mile BEV for under $30,000. Someday, probably a few more years down the line. But they have shown the world that EV’s can be doable, practical, affordable and will soon be as common as Chevies and Fords on American streets. I am glad that Nissan has come out and stated their desire to be #1, such a contrast to Fiat and other compliance car makers.



When I get the money; I’d like to take a Leaf and mod it sufficiently to beat a Lamborghini in every metric: Top speed, 1/4 mile, handling. Handling would be the easy part. Would consider motor/inverter swap and different cells for the rest. Can be done; just needs some money to do it.