At a press conference held this week at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan Motor Company vice-president of global product strategy Ivan Espinosa was asked when EVs would become the dominant force in the automotive market. He said there were a number of factors to consider.
“One thing is the regulatory costs of conventional technology today is gradually going up and it will keep getting worse and worse as we go,” he said “With that said, at the same time we see a lot of governments pushing to get cleaner environments, cleaner cities, more stringent regulatory hurdles. The electric technology is one of the solutions to do that.”
“One of the things is the cost of the technology is relatively high and it has to do mainly with battery cost. As this evolves and as the technology matures – it is in its young age – we can expect the cost to go down. And as the cost goes down and the conventional technology keeps going up, you will start seeing this shift. And we believe the shift will happen quickly.”
Nissan Motor Company chief planning officer Philippe Klein said that he believed 2025 was the likely tipping point for the technology to reach economic parity with internal combustion engines.
“We see this happening somewhere in the middle of the next decade,” he said. “At the same time the cost that will be imposed on the car industry for the new regulation, which is substantial, it is going to depend on the regions but will be substantial. And at the same time the continuous decrease of the cost of the electric vehicle technology. This decrease, we start to see the benefit of it.”
“And it is not necessarily a gameplay between mature countries and emerging countries. If you look at most polluted cities, most of them are in emerging countries and this is creating a real problem. I think we are going to see different pace as a function of the environment, but the condition will start to be there in the middle of the next decade.”
Mr Espinosa also said that consumer interest in EV technology was growing massively in recent years and this would help drive a quicker EV take up.
“The other thing we are noticing changing very fast is customer interest in EVs is growing. It is because people are getting into the technology and experiencing the technology more and more,” he said. “When we launched the Leaf, we had great feedback from customers buying the car because the drive experience is very different. Because the ‘fun to drive’ you get with the car is amazing and a completely different experience.
“What we thought some years ago were going to be customers that will not be interested in EVs, starting to change, starting to think, ‘Why not? EV is a good proposition.’ “So you start to see that also changing. Apart from the regulatory environment and technology cost viewpoint, customers are starting to be more and more interested in this technology. It is definitely going to happen and very, very fast.”
Credit: Nissan- Supplied