Every time a Nissan executive gives a major speech, the automaker sounds more and more serious about electric cars. Last May the company announced plans to be the first automaker to sell a mass-produced all-electric and zero-emission car by 2010 (geez, hurry up and get here already!). But a recent speech from chief executive Carlos Ghosn provided more details.
“I want a pure electric car. I don’t want a range extender. I don’t want another hybrid,” Ghosn said after a dedication ceremony for the automaker’s new North American headquarters in Franklin, Tenn. “It’s not going to be zero emissions in certain conditions. It’s going to be zero emissions.”
Not only does that statement set a substantial goal, but it’s a challenging distinction between Nissan’s direction and that of General Motors and Toyota, with their focus on gasoline-electric hybrids, which can still use fossil fuels to varying degrees.
Another Nissan executive, senior vice president for finance Dominique Thormann, stressed that the automaker isn’t on this track for green credibility. Thormann said Nissan won’t sell the cars unless it can do so at an affordable price, and make a profit.
For decades, Nissan has built reliable, high-quality cars that are fun to drive. The automaker does what it does very well, without overextending itself. I still fondly recall my college car, a Nissan 240SX. Oh, how I would love to have an electric version of that now!
While many automakers talk green but don't necessarily back it up, I have little or no reason to suspect this from Nissan. If this talk of affordable, zero emissions, all-electric cars comes to fruition, it’ll be a monumental shift for the auto industry.
Thanks to AutoblogGreen for the head’s up. To read more about Nissan’s plans, check out the two articles below from The New York Times.
John Rockhold is a green car enthusiast and Contributing Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find him on Google+.