There’s strength in numbers. Just as SUVs have slowly but surely displaced passenger car sales volumes, Nissan predicts electric vehicles will surpass the sales of internal combustion engines within the next decade.
According to the Japanese automaker 2025 will be the year vehicles like its own Leaf electric hatch will reach economic parity with internal combustion engines.
Speaking at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, where Nissan unveiled a Nismo version of the Leaf and all-electric IMx crossover concept, two of the brand’s highest-ranking executives admitted there is still a long wait for EV acceptance.
Ivan Espinosa, Nissan’s vice president of global product strategy, described two key factors that will drive the wider acceptance of EVs: The increasing development costs of internal combustion engines as international emissions regulations tighten, and the declining costs of electric motors and batteries as volumes increase and technology advances.
Espinosa said the cost of developing conventional technology, such as internal combustion engines, is getting more expensive in line with stricter emissions targets. At the same time EV costs are reducing, and that is the key, he says.
“The cost of the technology today relatively high and it mainly has to do with the battery costs,” Espinosa explained. “As this evolves and the technology matures, because it’s very young today, we can expect the costs to go down. As the costs go down and the conventional technology goes up you’re going to see a shift and we believe the shift will happen quickly.”
“That’s why we’re at the forefront of this. We are really behind EV technology and that’s why we’re showing you all the EV advancements today.”
While Espinosa said it was hard to put an exact date on when the shift will happen, his colleague Daniele Schilliaci, executive vice president of global sales and marketing and zero emission vehicles, signalled 2025 as the year the changeover would occur. He believes that’s when the cost of buying an EV will match an equivalent petrol or diesel powered car.
“We see this tipping point happening around 2025,” he said. “By then for the customer buying a petrol or an EV will be the same cost.
“If you have at the same price a petrol or an EV, with autonomy being bigger and bigger, why would you buy a traditional technology? This is the tipping point we see.”
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