Renault-Nissan Won’t Hit 2016 EV Target of 1.5 Million Sales


1.5 Million by 2016 is Not Possible

1.5 Million by 2016 is Not Possible

Overly optimistic?  We’d say “yes” and now Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn agrees.

Obligatory CEO with Vehicle Image

Obligatory CEO with Vehicle Image

In an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, Ghosn admitted that the Alliance’s target of 1.5 million electric vehicle sales by 2016 is well beyond reach.

Quoting Ghosn:

“We will not be there. At the speed right now, I’m seeing it more four or five years later.”

“I don’t think the main issue today is the cost of the car. The main issue is infrastructure. It is normal. I would not buy a gasoline car if there were no gasoline stations.”

“We have to admit, it is slower than we thought. But it is slower for the reason that we thought infrastructure building would be faster. It is not.”

All told, sales of EVs for Renault-Nissan now sit at over 120,000 units.  That’s well shy of 1.5 million and is precisely why Ghosn has to now concede that the 2016 target is not obtainable.

Ghosn did remark on competition in the EV segment, stating:

“Today there is nobody, but they are coming.  Some of our German competitors have announced that they are coming. They will be our main competitors. And that’s about it. Others have announced one car here, one car there.”

The Germans are coming.  These are exciting times for fan of plug-ins.  That’s for sure.

Source: Financial Times

Categories: Nissan, Renault

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17 Comments on "Renault-Nissan Won’t Hit 2016 EV Target of 1.5 Million Sales"

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Ghosn is clearly speaking as a purist when he says the Germans will be their only competition. Americans are in the game too, but have chosen to go the EREV/PHEV route. Don’t discount the Voltec / Energi technologies as real competition to the Leaf!


Voltec doesn’t look real. GM has been working for 3 years and their big improvement on the Volt is a $75,000 ELR with even less electric range, less interior space, fewer doors. Or if that doesn’t wow you, you can get a different paint job and spend $90,000 for the special edition Saks ELR. UUuuuuuuu.

Or just get a 265 mile range, 0-60 in 4.x second Tesla.


You are correct in the context of the current offerings, and I have my own doubts about GM’s commitment to Voltec. However, as a technology, it has the best potential for truly going mainstream this decade. If they are serious about developing Voltec 2.0, it can be cheaper, more compact, and spread across multiple body styles. The Leaf wouldn’t go away per se, but it would have a real hard time competing. And that’s a pretty big “if” up there.

Ocean Railroader

From the looks of it in my area Ford is really dominating the plug in hybrid segment when those their cars have half the range but lower prices. I think the way GM is acting with the volt and their Chevy spark they are starting to spook people away from their plug in cars.


Good point. My buddy was looking at the Leaf and ended up leasing the C-Max Energi since it cost less to lease, was much plusher and reduced range anxiety. His commute is exactly 20 miles each way, so the EV range of the C-Max works fine for him.

I encouraged him to look at the Energi platform since I was looking at the Fusion Energi for myself, which I ended up buying. I would never have bought the Leaf because I wanted a larger vehicle with higher quality. I think of my Ford Fusion Energi Titanium as a “poor man’s” Tesla.


“I don’t think the main issue today is the cost of the car. The main issue is infrastructure. It is normal. I would not buy a gasoline car if there were no gasoline stations.”

I disagree. The problem is not with infrastructure, it is with range and cost in comparison with ICE vehicles. To expect that the public infrastructure will support a million or more BEVs is ludicrous. For many years to come, most BEVs will be sold to homeowners or others who can provide their own charging. After all, who wants to sit at a public charger for an hour or two every day?

However, give us 200 miles of range for under $35,000, and the equation significantly shifts in favor of BEVs. Until then, they will not be acceptable to the majority.

Steve Strange

I completely agree. I’m rather surprised that Ghosn didn’t see it this way also. Musk understands this quite well. Perhaps for business reasons, he didn’t want to lay the blame in any way on the cars he’s currently manufacturing. I’m hoping that he does understand this, and that they are working hard on a 150-mile (real-world, e.g., 50 kWh) range EV.


Right!, charging is not the problem. That’s a Ghosn red herring to deflect the reason for low sales. Range is a symptom of the real problem which is “Nissan’s inability to provide a low-cost, high-energy density, traction battery.” The car is three years old and the batteries are the same; the 2014 won’t be any different.

I have a 2011 Leaf and it’s a good short range commuter! If you drive less than 50 miles round trip at freeway speeds and refuel at home, it might work for you otherwise I suggest you wait to purchase.


200 miles of range for under $35K is damn near impossible though.

scott moore

Unmentioned from Carlos is:

1. What effect the lack of supply of Leaves had on their sales.

2. Why Europe lags behind the US and Japan in EV sales and infrastructure even though they should be the perfect place for EV rollout (short travel distances, strong environmentalisim, high gas prices).

Brian Henderson
So Nissan-Renault will miss their goal of 1.5 million by 2016… but will likely pass the milestone in 2018. Norway’s EV registrations in October were >10% of all vehicle registrations. LEAF topped all vehicle slaes. In other countries, sales will continue to accelerate as larger populations gain EV awareness. These countries too will soon report sales of 1%, 5%, 10%, then … a million sold. eg: Germany has large base on residential solar & renewable power (60% at times) making it an ideal market. By 2015, 90% of Germany’s population will be within 150 km of Supercharger. While few can afford a Model S, seeing more EVs and infrastructure will have positive effect on all EV sales. It’s not just Tesla, but BMW (i’s & smart’s), Mercedes, Renault and other manufactures introducing more 2014 EV models. Carlos can’t complain as while sales started a bit slower than he wants, the LEAF will be first BEV to top 100,000 global sales in next few months. For context PEV sales in 2013 were up 200%-300% from 2012 in many countries. U.S. added over 150,000 PEVs since Dec 2010 (with 50,000 of these PEVs currently less than six months old). The biggest concern… Read more »

I look forward to the mass production of batteries that can honestly double the range of the Leaf, from 70 to 140 miles. When that happens, it’s “Katy Bar The Door!”

Ocean Railroader

What funny is that the Leaf is topped out with production at 2500 cars a month and demand is speeding up but they haven’t really made any huge progress in raising that same car production to say 3200 or say 4000 Nissan Leafs month. If they double the Nissan Leaf’s range they could make the Nissan versa electric in that the leaf will take a lot of sales from that car.


Next gen batteries with more range at the same cost and size will be a big help.

However Mr. Ghosn is correct, more CHAdeMo DC fast charging stations would be an even larger enabler for EV sales. Having the option of a quick 20 minute boost to 80% SOC when your battery gets low makes the car much more useful.


Dan Frederiksen

Wellll, maybe because it’s ugly, slow and massively overpriced. Call me crazy.




Ever driven one? They’re not slow.