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Nissan Chief Predicts Slow EV Adoption

November 24, 2009

NEW YORK --- Carlos Ghosn, head of the Nissan-Renault alliance, said Nov. 19 that consumers' adoption of electric vehicles will be a gradual process, with traditional gasoline-powered cars dominating the market for many years to come. 

Ghosn predicted that electric vehicles will represent about 10 percent of vehicles sold worldwide in 2020. The rest will be powered by gasoline, diesel, hybrids and other fuel sources. "We're not going to take the market by storm," Ghosn said of electric vehicles. "Electricity is going to complement oil." 

According to an Associated Press report, Ghosn made the remarks during a panel discussion sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. 

Ghosn acknowledged that Toyota Motor Co. has already staked out a leadership position in the hybrid market. But, he asserted, Nissan Motor Co. can become a leader in the all-electric vehicle market. Next year, Nissan is releasing the Leaf electric car in limited numbers and plans to put the EV into mass-production globally in 2012. 

Ghosn said demand from rising economies like China and India will help spur demand for electric cars.

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