Electric cars need government support: Nissan-Renault CEO

Nov 12, 2009
Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance Carlos Ghosn adresses the seventh Annual China Automotive Industry Forum 2009 in Shanghai. Electric cars could help China and other countries reduce their dependency on oil but the government must provide incentive to make the shift, Ghosn said Thursday.

Electric cars could help China and other countries reduce their dependency on oil but the government must provide incentive to make the shift, Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said Thursday.

Car makers need backing as they respond to the growing consensus among consumers that zero-emission vehicles are necessary to cope with the environmental crisis, Ghosn told an auto forum in Shanghai.

"With electric power, countries would no longer have to rely on one single commodity -- crude oil -- to supply all their transportation needs," he said.

"For many countries that are net importers of crude oil, such as China, that is a strategic consideration."

Ghosn, who is also president of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, said all major makers were investing in hybrid, clean diesel, electric cars and not one felt "they could stay on the sidelines."

Japan's and its partner Renault SA of France plan to release their Leaf electric car, which runs on a reusable , in the United States and Japan next year and globally in 2012, he said.

Ghosn added that the alliance was in talks with officials in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and the southern province of Guangdong for pilot projects involving the Leaf.

He pointed out that the US, French and Japanese governments were already offering about 7,500 dollars to consumers who bought zero-emission cars.

"The Chinese government is conscious of the fact that in order to promote electric cars they have to give something to the consumer, because there's no way electric cars are going to become mass marketed products unless you give something to the consumer," Ghosn said.

Chen Qingtai, a researcher for China's State Council Development Research Centre, said electric car development should be a priority for China, which was last year the world's second largest importer of oil.

"The cheap oil era has come to an end," Chen told auto industry executives, academics and reporters attending the forum at the China Europe International Business School.

He said China's conventional car market was growing exponentially -- outpacing the US, with a record 10 million units sold in the first 10 months of 2009.

"For the electric car industry it's opposite, currently we don't have economies of scale," Chen said. "If we increase the size of production, then the cost per unit will drop tremendously."

Chen said Beijing should present a comprehensive package of incentives to promote the electric car industry.

These could include measures such as rebates, requiring government agencies to buy more , tougher compulsory fuel efficiency standards and carbon dioxide consumption taxes.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Imec demonstrates organic photovoltaics modules showing excellent optical properties, high efficiencies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nissan rolls out electric car at new headquarters

Aug 02, 2009

(AP) -- Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn drove quietly out of the Japanese automaker's soon-to-open headquarters Sunday in the first public viewing of its new zero-emission vehicle.

Electric cars take on hybrids at Tokyo show

Oct 21, 2009

Futuristic concept cars, plug-in hybrids, zero-emission electric vehicles and even a hydrogen-powered scooter jostled for the limelight as the Tokyo Motor Show kicked off on Wednesday.

SKorea targets world electric car market

Oct 08, 2009

President Lee Myung-Bak Thursday offered full government support to help South Korean firms secure about 10 percent of the global electric car market by 2015.

Tesla unveils groundbreaking electric car

Mar 26, 2009

US automaker Tesla Motors unveiled Thursday its state-of-the-art five-seat sedan, billed as the world's first mass-produced, highway-capable electric car.

Recommended for you

Paraffins to cut energy consumption in homes

5 minutes ago

Thermal energy storage is a common strategy in energy production systems in which the period of production does not coincide with that of consumption. This happens with the production of hot water by means ...

Rubber technology important in reducing CO2 emissions

3 hours ago

Despite numerous measures taken by manufacturers, the worldwide level of CO2 car emissions is still increasing at an alarming rate. The automotive sector is working hard to develop lightweight constructions, ...

EnGo public charging station serves university students

7 hours ago

Kinetic tiles and solar panels are ready to power up mobile devices for people on the go thanks to something called the EnGo charging station. The technology involves a combination of kinetic tiles and solar ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jerryd
3.5 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2009

The only reasons EV's are not here are the massive subsidies oil gets and cars companies hate them because they are simple and need few aftermarket parts. Their motors only have 1 moving part, far less weight and they don't need transmissions.

If they really wanted to they could make lightweight, aero, medium tech composite unibodies which weigh 50% less than steel thus need 50% less battery, EV drive but don't rust so last too long.

I have one but I had to build my own. If done with lead batteries and forklift EV drive tech they could go 80 mph and 100 mile range and only cost $10-$13k for 2 and 4 passenger ones.

But don't hold your breath for that from car companies.