Nissan on track to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles before 2020 image

Japanese carmaker Nissan may sell more electric vehicles that the company initially thought, after more and more countries in the world are embracing fossil-fuel alternatives – Nissan’s global electric-vehicle business vice president Billy Hayes told WSJ.

Since the introduction in 2010 of its Leaf model, Nissan sold more than 100,000 units globally – and the automaker will start selling the Leaf electric vehicle in South Korea in the second half of this year.

“We have every reason to believe our new target is achievable. We believe we can hit it sooner than 2020,” Mr. Hayes said.

Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has previously said that Nissan and French counterpart Renault would be able to sell 1.5 million electric cars by 2016 – but since then the CEO has admitted that the companies will miss out on his original electric car sales targets.

But even if some recent revisions of Leaf that have increased range and reduced the overall price of the vehicle – the car is still seen as a vehicle that can be used only inside big cities, and many concerns like range and recharging time are still putting off many consumers.

On the same time, German premium carmaker BMW said it has already received 11,000 orders globally for the i3 electric vehicle – 1,200 of those from the United States where the i3 is expected to hit the market in May.

“The i3 is going fantastically well,” Werner Entenmann from another German dealership, Autohaus Entenmann, in Esslingen, told Automobilwoche, adding that his three test vehicles were completely booked out.