“I have zero doubt that zero emission is here to stay,” said Nissan’s chief.
Last month Chevrolet announced a temporary suspension of Volt production following an inventory accumulation of over 3,000 cars. Last month the Volt had its best monthly sales ever with 2,289 cars sold, an increase of 276.5 percent over the previous March. In the first three months of 2012, 3,915 Volts were delivered to customers, an increase of 223.6 percent over the first quarter of 2011.
The Nissan Leaf, the Volt's competitor in the EV market place as well as in the technological solution department, is lagging far behind the Volt so far this year. During March, Leaf sales reached 579 units, up 94 percent, and for the quarter sales stood at 1,742 cars compared to 452 sold in the first quarter of 2011. There is no doubt that the number of Volt sales seems impressive. However, in terms of total sales quantities, that number is almost negligible and far below expectations for both brands. Each of whom hoped to sell 50,000 EVs in 2012. GM already abandoned this target and will continue production that's adapted to demand.
But yesterday in New York, on the eve of the New York Auto Show press days, Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's CEO was still optimistic. He said that in the last 15 months 27,000 Leafs were sold worldwide and he still expects a 10 percent market share for EVs in 2020. "Yes, I still believe they will be 10 percent of the market in 2020, in all the regions where they are available. Yes, I still believe the Renault-Nissan Alliance will sell about 1.5 million cumulative electric vehicles by 2016," Ghosn said. "Given how much our customers like their Leafs, and given how early we are in the sales curve of this new technology, I have zero doubt that zero emission is here to stay."