2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

One million. It's just a number. But to Nissan chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn, it's a number that has significant importance. Ghosn believes that a million is the magic number that will allow the automaker to do something that's almost unheard of today: sell a reasonably priced, battery-powered vehicle that doesn't rely on hefty government subsidies to influence buyers.

Ghosn spoke at a Tokyo business conference last week and explained, again, that increases in production volume will drive down the cost of electric vehicles (EVs). That's basic economics. However, Ghosn went on to state that Nissan, presumably with help from luxury brand Infiniti, will need to reach an optimistic target of one million EV sales annually in order to end up with a sticker price for its battery-powered vehicles that will make them competitive with conventional autos without subsidies.

If EVs hit one million sales per year, Ghosn suggests, government subsidies could vanish forever. Of course, a million is optimistic right now – even Ghosn's bullish outlook suggests that his company will only reach a global production capacity of 200,000 by 2012. The question is: when does a million become not all that far-fetched?



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Photos copyright ©2010 Sebastian Blanco / AOL


[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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