Full range of electric-only vehicles on the way, says Ghosn
1 May 2008

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has committed his company to becoming a “global leader” in the production of affordable electric vehicles.Speaking at the Nissan 360 event in Portugal, where journalists are able to drive Nissan's entire global line-up, Ghosn said that the development of a range of electric-only cars was at the heart of Nissan's plan to increase sales in emerging markets.“Fifteen years ago the environment was not an issue,” he said. “Now it is unavoidable. When oil hit $30 a barrel we were told it was a disaster; now we are looking at a future of permanently high energy costs.” He added that at the current oil price of $120 a barrel, justifying an electric vehicle development project was “very easy”.Nissan is looking for future growth in developing markets because it believes that sales in Europe, Japan and America are likely to remain static for the foreseeable future. “That is why in our opinion it is time for zero-emissions cars, those that will be completely neutral to the environment,” said Ghosn.Ghosn said that Nissan regards fully electric vehicles as offering a better solution than fuel cells, hybrids or the industrial-scale production of biofuels, especially in the low-cost markets that are going to constitute rising demand for new cars.Nissan will have a mass-market electric car on sale in the USA in 2011, with sales also slated for Israel and Denmark after tax relief schemes have been agreed with local governments.

Mike Duff

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