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Nissan Leaf Electric Car Was Top Priority For CEO After Japanese Earthquake

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Nissan LEAFs arrive in the U.K.

Nissan LEAFs arrive in the U.K.

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The devastating earthquakes that hit Japan earlier this year may have severely affected the production of cars worldwide, but according to Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, his primary concern was to get production of the Nissan Leaf back on track. 

According to an article published in The New York Times on Friday, Ghosn told the assembled guests at a Japan Society event in Manhattan that the all-electric car was top of his post-tsunami to-do list. 

Calling it Nissan’s “anti-crisis weapon”, Ghosn said the Nissan Leaf had the potential to help combat the company’s exposure to high oil prices as well as contribute its own small solution to helping minimize global warming.  Making sure that its global rollout was as unaffected by the Tsunami as possible was extremely important to Nissan’s future plans, he explained. 

Carlos Ghosn in Geneva 3-5-08

Carlos Ghosn in Geneva 3-5-08

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And although Ghosn told the assembled audience that he felt hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles would play an important role alongside pure electric vehicles in reducing gasoline consumption, he admitted electric cars were his personal favorite. 

Although Ghosn’s love for the electric car isn’t about to wain any time soon, Nissan’s CEO remains pragmatic about the future of electric cars. In order for Nissan and Renault to truly move away from internal combustion engines, he acknowledged that the electric car’s Achilles heel -- the battery pack -- needed a lot of work. 

“The batteries are still too heavy and expensive”, he explained. “The evolution of the battery is extremely important for development in the 21st century.”

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  1. As a practical note, as a very highly visible halo car, it was important to keep the introductions to new markets going.

    Nissan stated that gen 2 of the battery would be about the same cost and size, but almost twice the range. That effectively means the price per kWhr would be almost half.
     
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