Nissan CEO Says Their Electric Car Strategy is “Unique” in Industry


In Los Angeles this morning, at the United States unveiling of the Nissan LEAF electric car—set to hit showrooms in late 2010—Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was enthusiastic and clearly proud of the position the Nissan-Renault Alliance has taken as a leader in the development of electric cars and charging infrastructure.

“The LEAF is a new paradigm of the car,” said Ghosn. “LEAF represents a totally new transformational technology that will change the way people drive, use, and power their vehicles. And the time is right for this breakthrough.”

Citing growing concern over the environment, tougher regulations, and fear over a dwindling supply of crude oil, Ghosn indicated that Nissan has factored these issues into their overall electrification strategy.

“With our alliance partner, Renault, we are taking a position which is unique in our industry which is a comprehensive approach that goes beyond our vehicles alone,” noted Ghosn. “Our vision includes lithium-ion battery development and lifecycle management, infrastructure support and collaborative partnerships that educate and engage the public.”

“With Renault we are the only ones investing in both battery and vehicle production plants to bring a line up designed for the mass market,” he continued. “We are in control of all the core zero emission technologies, especially the batteries that are at the heart of our electric cars. And we are the only ones signing the agreements that build the framework for the successful large scale implementation [of electric cars].”

Recently Ghosn has indicated that Nissan is essentially skipping hybrid-only technology and betting the barn on electric vehicles in an attempt to dominate that space. Certainly it seems that most of the company’s resources are now dumped into electric car development, and with the amount of money the company has clearly spent on Nissan LEAF marketing, it’s all or nothing for them. It must be both a terrifying and electrifying (pun intended) time to work at the company.

Along with the US unveiling of the LEAF, Ghosn made the announcement that the next electric vehicle they will bring to the US is an electric version of a Nissan light duty commercial vehicle for city deliveries. And after that will be an Infiniti compact luxury electric car, which, according to Ghosn, will be a “stylish, high-performance four seater.”

More and more it appears that what I wrote a year ago about Nissan being on track for electric car world domination is coming to fruition.

Disclaimer: The author’s flight and accommodations for this trip were furnished by Nissan

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.