Nissan Puts Governments in Eco-Driver Seat
For Nissan and electric vehicle chief Eiji Makino, green technology is more than a zero sum game. With prohibitive development costs and massive global infrastructure needs, the Japanese automaker and …
With prohibitive development costs and massive global infrastructure needs, the Japanese automaker and alliance partner Renault have put together 80 governments and businesses to help subsidize its zero emission push.
The first to sign on was Portugal, which plans 1,300 normal electric charging sites and 50 fast-speed ones in 25 cities by next July, while other nations plugged in include China and the U.S., which is helping to fund EV plant expansion in Tennessee.
[Eiji Makino, General Manager Zero Emission Strategy, Nissan]:
„What we’re doing is not just building an electric vehicle and launching it into the market, but creating the environment necessary for EVs to spread. That means, for example, working with governments on infrastructure-building.“
Nissan is not alone, as automakers such as Mitsubishi and General Motors have EVs and others have cars in the pipeline, although so far sales have been minimal.
That may be about to change.
Nissan’s mass-produced Leaf will go on sale this month for about $25,000 in the U.S., with tax credits making it as low as $20,300 in California.
„Ten years from now, in 2020, we’re expecting that 10 percent of new vehicle sales will be electric vehicles. Within that, Renault and Nissan want a No.1 share.“
The company has budgeted $5 billion through 2013 to build 12 assembly and battery factories capable of producing a combined 500,000 EVs a year.
Nissan expects in the first year to have less than 50,000 Leafs available, while it has no timetable for a China sales debut, one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.