Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Discusses Nissan’s Goal Of Eliminating Range Anxiety By Increasing EV Range

AUG 6 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 39

Nissan CEO Ghosn In A Nissan LEAF

Nissan CEO Ghosn In A Nissan LEAF

Nissan has made us aware of Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s latest LinkedIn Influencer post.  The post is reproduced in its entirety below.  We’ve bolded a few key sections that are likely of most interest to you, our readers.

(July 6, 2015) – In his latest LinkedIn Influencer post, Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn points to encouraging figures for electric vehicles, including the sale of the Alliance’s 250,000th EV in early June. Find out why Ghosn believes the EV is establishing itself as the most practical transportation alternative to climate change.

Ghosn:
There’s been more good news lately about electric vehicles:

  • The Renault-Nissan Alliance in June sold its 250,000th EV: a white Renault ZOE sedan purchased by an engineer in Bordeaux, France.
  • The Alliance’s global EV sales were up 15 percent through May, compared with the first five months of 2014. This is despite lower fuel prices in much of the world.
  • Nissan is joining with a startup company to make EVs even more sustainable, as companies begin to seize the opportunity to reuse EV batteries to lower their building energy costs.
  • We’re seeing enthusiasm, especially among younger fans, for Formula E, the new racing series for all-electric cars.
  • More automakers are bringing new EVs to market, creating more competition, which is good for the market and good for motorists!

I don’t see other automakers as competitors when it comes to zero-emissions vehicles. They’re allies. And it is great to see the number of “Alliance allies” growing, as other automakers introduce more affordable EVs to compete with the segment-leading Nissan LEAF.

We reached the 250,000-unit milestone in early June, four-and-a-half years after the LEAF was introduced as the world’s first mass-market, zero-emission vehicle. The Alliance today accounts for half of all EVs sold worldwide, and the LEAF remains the best-selling EV ever, with more than 180,000 units sold.

From the start, we set lofty goals for the LEAF. While we fell short of our initial sales targets, I remain bullish on the future of EVs as they move into the mainstream. The trend globally to impose tougher restrictions on automotive CO2 emissions, to mitigate the impact of climate change, means eventually all automakers will need to offer zero-emissions alternatives in their fleets. The most practical alternative today is the EV.

We also are seeing demand grow quickly in places where businesses and governments are joining to expand the charging infrastructure, and as more motorists get the chance to experience an EV.

In fact, computer engineer Yves Nivelle, who bought our 250,000th EV, was spurred in part by an incentive in France that encourages owners of older diesel-engine vehicles to trade them in on a new EV.

“I have to say, I was convinced the first time I drove the car,” said Nivelle. “It’s a real pleasure to drive and it feels good to do my part for the environment.”

That sort of enthusiasm is quite common among our EV owners. Our EVs enjoy among the highest levels of customer satisfaction that we have seen for any vehicle. Operating costs are low, they require less maintenance, and they are fun to drive.

In other recent news, companies are forming to take advantage of re-packaging used EV batteries for other uses. Nissan recently announced it is teaming up with Green Charge Networks, an energy start-up, to reuse LEAF batteries to store energy for commercial and industrial buildings.

After many years of service, car batteries eventually need to be replaced. But they still retain enough charge for lighter chores.

When electricity rates are highest, in the middle of the day, a corporate customer can switch its energy use from the power grid to these re-packaged batteries. Or, even better, it can use the batteries to store unused energy from rooftop solar panels. Some homeowners already are doing this by connecting their solar panels to their EVs, to store the energy in the car’s batteries for later use.

Companies including UPS, 7-Eleven and Walgreens are among those that have signed on with Green Charge Networks.

Getting as much life out of the batteries just makes sense for the environment. Now it’s generating an economic opportunity, too.

Battery technology continues to improve, as well. In fact, the day is nearing when the typical EV motorists will be able to leave home with a full charge, go about their daily routine, and return home with ample charge remaining in their Nissan LEAF or Renault ZOE.

Later this year, you will hear more about our initial steps to increase the range of our EVs. Our goal is to eliminate “range anxiety” for our customers, as we continue our effort to make zero-emission vehicle a mainstream choice.

Finally, I wanted to share with you my enthusiasm for FIA Formula E, the new racing series that uses all-electric, solar-powered cars. I’m proud to note e.dams-Renault took the team championship in London’s Battersea Park last month.

As with other racing series in which manufacturers are involved, the lessons learned on the track eventually benefit the cars we drive every day. We expect that will be no different with Formula E. I’m also encouraged by the fact that so many of Formula E’s fans are young, which bodes well for the future of EVs.

A decade ago, many people thought electric cars would never make it, that they were slow, bulky and unattractive – more like a golf cart. That’s obviously changed. And with Formula E, we now see that EVs can also be sleek, fast and powerful – while still being good for the environment.

The transformation in thinking about electric cars is complete. EVs are clearly becoming a mainstream choice.

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39 Comments on "Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Discusses Nissan’s Goal Of Eliminating Range Anxiety By Increasing EV Range"

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Lou

I wish that he’d given some more definitive examples of the increased range, although I understand that doing so now would be counterproductive to selling the existing LEAFS. This is getting exciting, even if we still have to be patient a little longer.

Lou

philip d

Love the new airy buggy look of the new Leaf. I question the inline 2-seater form factor though.

ArkansasVolt

looks like the new inline 2.5 seater…

Stuart22

Ghosn is a classic car salesman. Lots of talk, little said.

Brian_Henderson

Think at this point the REAL ISSUE is “Charger Anxiety” related to infrastructure NOT “Range Anxiety” of EVs.

Just compare reports of blocked, defective, or queued charging stations to number of EV running out of energy mid-route. An issue occurs at a charging location when expected charging service is not available, or accessible!

The largest contributor to “Charger Anxiety” by far is single charge point outlets. This create a **weakest-link** to any EVenture requiring use of a route involving this service point.

Long ago home plugs were designed with 2 outlets for redundancy, and allow a second connection. Early gas stations had a single pump, but ones with multiple pumps soon became common as single point pumps lost revenue with any failure and soon became obsolete … when will DC charging network deployers learn this valuable lesson?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Brian_Henderson asked:

“…when will DC charging network deployers learn this valuable lesson?”

Not so long as people aren’t paying to charge, that’s for sure.

electric-car-insider.com

Tesla seems to have figured it out. Are other automakers really that slow to catch on?

At a 3:1 price advantage for fuel, customers will figure it out pretty quick.

Pushmi-Pullyu

electric-car-insider.com asked:

“Tesla seems to have figured it out. Are other automakers really that slow to catch on?”

It’s not that other PEV makers “don’t get it”. It’s that no other auto maker has an incentive to spend money on building out a nationwide/ worldwide system of DC fast charging stations to help advertise and support sales of long-range EVs.

Other than Tesla and BYD, no other auto maker (of those big enough to mention) has plug-in EVs as its core product.

electric-car-insider.com

> no other auto maker has an incentive…

My point is that if you buy a Dodge ICE and pay $200-$400 per month for gasoline (plus car payments) vs buying an EV and pay $66-$132 for electric fuel, that’s a built in pricing advantage for the EV – independent of the car payment.

So BMW can credibly sell a premium car to a driver who might not otherwise consider BMW if that BMW’s total cost of ownership is $134-$268 less per month on fuel alone (maintenance will also be less, if my experience with 3 EVs so far is any guide).

My girlfriend gave up a $400 per month fuel bill on her Lexus RX350, and she is *never* going back to a gasser. Not even a PHEV. (“No oil changes!” Ever. Again.)

If you have solar on your roof and a Time of Use utility plan, that fuel cost savings could be much more (an incremental $2k-$3k in solar panels pays for EV fuel for the next 30 years).

Only one guy I know making and selling both. Built in advantage. An edge. Smart guy.

Ted P

The problem is, it is not economicaly viable yet. A typical 50kW unit before quantity discount is $35k + $20-30k to install it, plus network and support fees.

At a profit of $0.50-1.00/charge(if that much), it takes a lot of charges to pay off a single unit.

Pushmi-Pullyu

I agree that plug-in EVs are not yet common enough to support publicly accessible for-profit charging stations. We’re at the market penetration level of the “horseless carriage” before gas stations, when you had to buy gasoline in a tin or bottle at the drug store or hardware store.

But I’m not at all sure that $1 per charge is all the market will support. If people will pay $1 for a bottle of water as a convenience fee, many of them will pay more for the convenience of a charge when their PEV runs low. $5 doesn’t seem outrageous for getting, say, 200 miles of range. That would still be a lot cheaper than paying for gasoline!

cmg186

I thought the i-MiEV was the ‘world’s first mass-produced zero emissions vehicle’?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Looks like you’re right.

I guess the i-MiEV being the first truly mass-produced EV of the modern era (as opposed to earlier ones such as the Baker Electric or Detroit Electric cars) is like the Viking discovery of North America. Almost nobody cares, and someone else (Columbus or Nissan) gets all the credit.

Nate

Excellent example of not giving the right credit because both human discovery and civilization in North and South America goes to Native Americans, not the Vikings.

Brian

+1

Pushmi-Pullyu

Nate said:

“…human discovery and civilization in North and South America goes to Native Americans”

You should give credit for discovering America only to those born in America?

There’s a flaw in your argument, there… 😉

Also: I am a native American; I was born here. If you don’t like the term “Amerind” or “First Nations” (the Canadian term), then the proper designation is “American aborigines”.

Nate

No, “native-born American” is not the same as “Native American”.

My wife is Native American. U.S. tribe, not Canadian, not Pacific Islander. I respect the reasons she and her friends use this term to refer to their people. I respect other terms that other indigenous people use as well. It causes me no confusion or inconvenience to do this. I am sad when people use (often lame) semantics arguments to degrade the term Native American.

Bonaire

Just keep the Nissan Dealers’ CHAdeMO chargers open 24×7. I stopped at a Nissan dealer last night for 15 minutes of L2 charging (waiting on a friend). There was a CUV parked in front of the CHAdeMO after hours. They block the equipment for what reason???

Djoni

“I wanted to share with you my enthusiasm for FIA Formula E, the new racing series that uses all-electric, solar-powered cars.”
Anybody knows how this is true?
I tought they were charge on site by glycerine diesel cycle engine that is labelled as evergreen.

K-lein

I don’t know how they recharge their cars but I wouldn’t be surprized that they just have a few solar panels on the roof at their team headquarters, and then use the usual “1 green kW at one end of the grid displaces 1 dirty kW at the other end” scheme.
Which EVERY “green power supplier” uses

Pushmi-Pullyu

Tesla claims to have ended range anxiety by improving the Model S’s onboard range estimator.

Nissan claims it will end range anxiety by increasing the range of its BEV somewhat.

In both cases, this is at best a vast overstatement, at worst pure hype. Range anxiety won’t actually be ended so long as it takes a lot longer to recharge a BEV en route than to fill up with gas, and won’t be ended until ultra-fast-charge stations (which don’t even exist yet) are as easy to find as gas stations.

Reducing range anxiety is a realistic goal. Ending it is not, at least not in the next 15 years or so. Even if someone invented commercially viable battery cells capable of ultra-fast-charging tomorrow, it would still take more than just a few years for the tech to be implemented and for the charging infrastructure to be built out nationwide.

electric-car-insider.com

When you start every day with 200 miles range, you really don’t have to think about it at all while driving in town (when was the last time you drove more than 200 miles within your metro area in a single day?)

Tesla’s supercharger network makes cross country trips very easy now. I’ve driven from Seattle to San Diego and back again several times. After three hours of driving, a 30-45 min break is very little inconvenience. Especially when the fuel is free.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Certainly the Model S eliminates range anxiety for local driving (other than edge cases where someone forgot to charge their car after a long trip).

But even with hundreds of Superchargers nationwide, it still restricts your “road trip” driving when you have to either stay within 100 miles or so of a Supercharger, or else settle for slower charging at a non-Tesla destination charger.

electric-car-insider.com, I’m very glad that the Supercharger system fills all your needs for long-range driving. But in general, you can say the same for all early adopters. They are the people willing to put up with the limitations and inconvenience of a technology that isn’t fully developed.

You can find plenty of Internet posts from people who are not willing to put up with the limitations and inconvenience, not even with a car with the high performance and the relatively long range of the Tesla Model S. If that wasn’t so, if PEVs had already moved past the early adopter stage, then PEV sales would have much more than 1% penetration of the automobile market.

Koenigsegg

I have 20,000+ miles on my 70-80 mile range Smart ED and drive ~45 miles a day and have never ran out of range or had range anxiety and I only charge at home.

The Tesla is literally unlimited for daily driving.

ffbj

It also seems to me that Tesla has answered those questions of convenience with their SC network.
I could see someone arguing that it is not as convenient as gas, which is true, but it’s all about, levels of convenience, as as you point out, it’s free, which should certainly contribute to how much perceived or actual inconvenience will be tolerated without discomfort.
What I am getting at it’s not 0/1, sort of answer, it’s a scale.

Nate
Classic West Coast ignorance of most of the rest of the country. Seattle to San Diego is not even close to a cross country trip. I’ve done Portland to San Diego with a side trips zig zagging from Sequoia National Park to the central coast in between. That is no where close to a true East-West cross country trip. Also, the I-5 corridor is not representative of the nation. Supercharger and CHAdeMO is much better in the Pac NW than many other places. In many other places, the situation is much different. I’ve got a friend that is a fly fishing guide in the Veil Colorado area. Tons of Texas clients are from Texas. Not a big trip for people who’ve lived in no coastal states out west. The quickest route from Dallas and other major cities in Texas are not covered with Supercharger access. My buddy in Boise can’t go to Jackson Hole doesn’t have any along his route. Live in Memphis and want to go to Mardi Gras? Choose another route or take a different car. You have a kick ass car. Tesla’s supercharger network is coming along at a great pace and it is an excellent plan.… Read more »
Electric-Car-Insider.com

Point taken, Nate. But Tesla is now building SuperChargers in fairly sparsely populated states like Montana, with a stated intention of blanketing the entire country. There are now two coast to coast routes, with a third southern rout to be open soon.

Unless someone buys a Tesla today with an immediate need for back country driving, there’s really no inconvenience. This is a car that within a few years, will take them to any remote corner of the contiguous US. Of course they could make that trip today if those journeys to very remote parts of Nevada or Texas were traveled in 250 mile segments with overnight stops at hotels or RV parks.

Is it perfect or does it solve every possible permutation of travel? No, just the ones most real people use.

Nate

Thanks for reading my rant. Happy travels.

ffbj

Since Tesla says that 90-95% of charging is done at home where is all the range anxiety coming from. Of course with Tesla we are talking about a vehicle far beyond the capabilities of the Leaf, but since you are not specifying range anxiety as if it applies only to the Leaf, I just comment that specific to Tesla, it would certainly be a different sort of range anxiety of a much weaker sort.
I also find your logic related to ev penetration lacking.

Bonaire

Range anxiety exists with ICE as well. My wife has a life-long need to keep her cars at least 1/4 full of gas. When she gets a plug in vehicle, it will always be full in the morning after charging overnight.

Oskar

Article says:

“…white Renault ZOE sedan”

As if calling the Model S a sedan wasn’t silly enough, now the ZOE is a sedan as well. Well shiver me automotive timbers.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Why is calling the Model S a “sedan” silly? It has four doors and a trunk. Surely you’re not objecting just because the trunk is covered by a hatch instead of a traditional trunk lid?

It’s more precise to call the Model S a “hatchback sedan”, but it’s still a sedan.

The graphic linked below shows typical layouts for a sedan (top), station wagon (middle), and hatchback (bottom). Which category does the Model S fit?

Nate

I am with you on this one Pushmi-Pullyu. I think it is just as odd to call the Model S a hatchback than it is a sedan, regardless of how the back opens. Tesla calls it a sedan. The marketing material in cars in this price range doesn’t often make use of the hatchback term.

Here is what came to mind for me when using hatchback and Model S in the same sentence — An old Frasier episode where Niles is stuck with a hatchback rental, for which he’s embarrassed about, comes to mind. Hatchback seemed to be a new term for him, if I recall.

However, the Model S profile doesn’t come match any of the above from your hatchback example seen on wikipedia’s hatchback page. It is more like a coupe. Or, liftback like, but I don’t think we’ll see that from the marketing department either:)

Koenigsegg

Model S is a Super Sedan

Pushmi-Pullyu

Nate says:

“the Model S profile… is more like a coupe.”

Nope. A coupe has only two doors. The Model S has four.

Nate

They don’t have to be. Traditionally yes, but every now and then manufacturers offer cars with the lines from a coupe into cars that have 4 or 5 doors (some have trunks openings, some have hatches). In more recent history Mercedes started it with the CLS550. Others followed like the VW CC, Audi A7, BMW grande coupe and the like.

But remember, I agreed with the sedan term being as good as any and better than hatchback. We’re getting subjective here but when I look at the profile I see more resemblance to that the 1st gen focus sedan:) Tesla has described it the same as I did, by saying the Model S has the “stance of a coupe”. I can agree with that description, even without calling it a coupe.

Koenigsegg

Its a Fastback

BernieTx

“range anxiety” — you could just get a gen2 Volt.

Rick Danger

Nissan needs to fix their own form of range anxiety – buy a car with __ miles AER and before the lease is up you’ve lost 1/4 of your range or more.