Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn with Leaf EV - Click above for high-res image gallery
You certainly can't argue with Carlos Ghosn's commitment to battery-powered vehicles. No one else in the auto industry has placed such a huge bet on plug-in vehicles. Renault has committed to four different battery-powered vehicles in the next few years, and Nissan has committed to three and possibly a fourth. Building so many EVs will require an awful lot of advanced batteries and Ghosn has been lining up the necessary financing to build battery plants in the United States and Europe in addition to Japan.
Speaking in China this week, Ghosn told reporters that his company has lined up the necessary resources to build up to half a million batteries a year if demand warrants it. Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of plug-in vehicles, Ghosn is no fool and won't actually start building the capacity for the batteries until the sales volumes justify it. To make that happen, Ghosn says Renault and Nissan will only sell EVs in regions where there are government incentives, recognizing that large numbers of people will not buy until the cars are cost competitive up front.