Renault’s Japanese alliance partner is a true believer of the electric future and expects its zero-emissions models’ sales to jump by the end of the decade.
The electric trend is slowly starting to build up speed, as governments are making efforts to spur the demand by granting incentives and by expanding the charging network. Nissan and its alliance partner Renault took by storm the European EV market with their Leaf and Zoe models, together accounting for more than a third of the total electrical sales in the region last year. The Japanese automaker aims to increase its electric pace and it hopes zero-emissions models will account for one fifth of the company’s total sales by the end of the decade. “We believe that by 2020, where the market conditions are right, we’ll be selling up to 20 percent of our volume as zero-emissions vehicles,” Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan European EV head, told Autocar in an interview.
He gave Norway as an example of a place where battery-powered cars are really changing customers’ perception over the technology, pushed by the authorities’ strong commitment in this direction. However, Norway is currently an exception rather than a rule in Europe. The government spends huge amounts of money to promote the green movement, with huge incentives, zero taxes, free public parking and charging, free ferry trips, tolls on roads, bridges or tunnels passes.
However, Dunsmore believes Europeans are on the right track. “In March, 6 percent of sales in the whole of Europe were electric vehicles — the Leaf and NV200. The tipping point is starting to happen, and it’s going to happen city by city, country by country,” he added.