After BMW has now fully got behind electric cars with its new i brand, and the Volkswagen Group also now on-board with a declaration it will be the market leader of the technology by 2018, you could forgive Nissan technical chief Andy Palmer for thinking ‘I told you so’.

He was frank and open on the subject of EVs, a technology Renault and Nissan has pioneered over the last few years, most notably with the Leaf that launched back in 2010.

“As more people come to the EV market, the market will grow,” he said. “We’ve said all along that sales of these types of cars will be 10 per cent of total sales by 2020, and everyone has been giggling a bit on it. Not anymore.

“I have to give great credit to Elon Musk and Tesla for making EVs cool and desirable. We don’t share customers, but they’ve helped make EVs aspirational purchases.”

On VW, Palmer spoke candidly. “In 2011, VW said EVs were ‘lunacy’. Look it up. Now them coming into the market just validates what we’ve been saying for years.” (I did look it up, and couldn’t find that exact quote, but did find quotes from around the same time from VW’s sales boss saying consumers didn’t want EVs, only governments.)