Renault-Nissan CEO Ghosn: Electric Vehicles No Longer Considered Golf Carts by Consumers

5 years ago by Eric Loveday 5

Carolos Ghosn Casting a Big Shadow

Carolos Ghosn Casting a Big Shadow

Combined, electric vehicles sales from the Renault-Nissan Alliance easily exceed 70,000 units, but that’s not even close to enough for Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn who, like Elon Musk, dreams big and speaks his inside thoughts quite often.

When Ghosn fielded question at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, words like “golf cart,”  “perception” and “happy” flowed out from within.ghosn head shot

Quoting Ghosn:

“What is interesting about electric cars is that the perception has changed.  Four or five years ago, when we started with electric cars, people considered the electric car like a golf cart. But with with LEAF and now the Zoe, these are very good cars – performance, acceleration, styling, comfort. The 70,000 people today who drive our electric cars are very happy with them.”
As Ghosn notes, this changing perception in regards to electric vehicles should broaden the Alliance’s customer base beyond “early adopters.”  But even Ghosn admits that the reach of electric vehicles is limited by local infrastructure of the region where potential customers reside.  Renault-Nissan believes in a vast public charging network and feels that at-home charging really isn’t sufficient, despite evidence to the contrary, for widespread electric vehicle adoption.
As Ghosn sees it, electric vehicles either need to offer ample range or a widespread public charging network lives.  Tesla shoots for ample range, but the Renault-Nissan approach is to rely on a widespread public charging network.
Ghosn concluded with this rather confusing statement on the different strategies taken by Nissan and by Renault:
“Each company is going to have a different strategy.  Nissan preferred not to have cars which are not gasoline engines transformed into electric cars.  And Renault (says)…I am going to move directly with these cars first: Fluence, Kangoo. Nissan (says)…I’m going to start with the Leaf which exists only as an electric. The Zoe and Twizy exist only as electrics…”

What Ghosn is trying to say is that Nissan’s focus will continue to be on dedicated electric vehicles, whereas Renault will do both dedicated and as Ghosn says “transformed” electric vehicles.  Which approach is the right one?  Well, since the Alliance is taking both approaches, then it should soon find out which one is more suitable moving forward.

via AutoblogGreen

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5 responses to "Renault-Nissan CEO Ghosn: Electric Vehicles No Longer Considered Golf Carts by Consumers"

  1. kdawg says:

    I think if i was a car company I would separate my EV’s from my ICE’s. Otherwise people start doing direct comparison’s and try running the #’s, which they may not do the math right. Also the interiors/options/drive will be different. I wish GM would have called the Spark EV something else, and change the looks even more-so from the Spark ICE.

    1. zilm says:

      it’s good marketing trick they should use, otherwise you would compare: “+$20k to the same ICE? No way!”

  2. Warren says:

    OK. So the public now knows that electric vehicles can be made as big, and inefficient as the monstrosities they are currently destroying their grandchildren’s future with, only more expensively, and less conveniently. Let’s all go to the mall, and celebrate.

  3. Anderlan says:

    This is funny because I’m looking forward to buying a Leaf one day. I know people will say “Whoa, that’s electric, like a Tesla.” And I will have to say, “No, not exactly. This is a Leaf. And a golf cart is to a Leaf as a Leaf is to a Tesla.”

    Seriously. Battery size, charging capability, power, the analogy works perfectly.

  4. GSP says:

    I also want a public charging network and feel that at-home charging really isn’t sufficient, despite evidence to the contrary, for widespread electric vehicle adoption.

    I am not buying the”evidence” that at home charging is sufficient. Just because 95% of charging is at home does not mean that having public charging within walking distance of where you would park your gas car, is not crucially needed for the other 5%.

    Even Teslas use public charging quite frequently, even though they certainly don’t need it for daily driving around town. Telsa has said they were surprised by the usage rates at their 90 kW (300 mph) SuperChargers.

    GSP