- Technology

Nissan eyes 1.5 million electric cars by 2016

Japanese auto giant Nissan is aiming to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles around the world by 2016, the company said today, as it looks to capitalise on growing demand for green products.

Japan’s second-largest automaker behind Toyota said it wants to be the world’s largest player in so-called “zero-emission vehicles”, including a new fuel cell electric vehicle developed with Daimler.

The company, which is 43.8 percent owned by French partner Renault, has sold 15,000 Leaf electric cars, the only model it produces, but plans to add a further seven models across the group.

“More consumers are demanding products in line with their values, including cars and trucks with a lower carbon footprint. At the same time, we are using technology to make our factories greener and more efficient,” said Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn.

“Nissan wants to be part of the solution toward a sustainable society — for the sake of the planet and as a significant competitive advantage and a strategic differentiator in the global manufacturing sector.”

In addition to the target of 1.5 million electric vehicles, the company said it is also aiming for an average 35 percent improvement in fuel economy on 2005 figures for vehicles sold in Japan, China, Europe and the United States.

Last month, Nissan said it was teaming up with US-based General Electric to explore ways to promote the use of electric vehicles.

Japanese firms were hit hard by power and chronic parts supply shortages in the wake of March’s earthquake and tsunami, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda having to sharply reduce production and shut plants due to a lack of crucial components.

However, Nissan’s recovery has outpaced its peers with global production in June growing 18.5 percent year-on-year to 419,831 units. Toyota and Honda declined by 7.9 percent and 44.5 percent respectively.

Nissan sold a total of 1,056,000 vehicles globally in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, up 10.6 percent on-year.

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