Carlos Ghosn, the charismatic head of the Nissan-Renault Alliance held a media Q&A at the Detroit based NAIAS Motor Show. The focus was very much on technology, including autonomous driving and over-the-air updates, which he pencilled in for 2020.
The room was also very keen to hear his thoughts on emissions. Carlos has always been a backer of electric vehicle technology and his passion remains strong, however he commented that demand for electric vehicles is currently weak, but manufacturers have come to the following conclusion ……
There is no way we can meet the emissions regulations in the future without a significant proportion of our sales being zero emissions or Ultra Low Emission plug-in hybrids.
Zero emissions is something many governments want to see happen and it is going to take some time…… but frankly everything you read, COP21 and the resolution on emissions, all points to the fact that it is going to be impossible to reach the levels which are required without a strong contribution from zero emission vehicles.
It’s going to take some time before the consumer is going to jump, they see electric cars as expensive, they see there is no infrastructure for charging…… when you see the infrastructure put in place, the range going up and the cost of electric cars going down, I can bet you will see major shift to the electric car.
It is not going to be an easy shift, but I don’t see how we can escape this one.
When asked about the new 200 mile Chevrolet Bolt and range-anxiety his reply was robust:
You will not elimate range anxiety by having better batteries, you can go to 200, 300, 400 miles and you are always going to have anxiety. It will only be elimated when you have a charging infrastructure which is widespread and visible.
And on charging times:
Rapid charging is currently 30 minutes, but a lot of suppliers are coming to us already with devices of upto 10 minutes of charging time.
Watch the full Q&A below.