Like it not, the electric car is here to stay, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Allliance, said during a whirlwind visit to Detroit.
The Japanese side of the alliance, in particular, is betting heavily on battery power, with its first battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, the Nissan Leaf, due to go on sale late this year. Other models, including a luxury BEV for the Infiniti brand, are set to follow.
The first-year production of the electric-powered Nissan Leaf is already sold out, Ghosn said, noting the Japanese automaker already has 13,000 orders from customers in the U.S. and another 6,000 orders from buyers in Japan, with more pouring in every day.
Initially, Nissan plans to offer the 2011 Leaf to fleet buyers, but for 2012 it will go into retail sale, and in the U.S., the orders have come from private citizens not government organizations, stressed Ghosn.