Money Matters - Simplified

Nissan aims to sell 1.5mn electric cars by 2016

Nissan's electric car Leaf has outsold General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt for the sixth consecutive month in September.

In a bid to become the world's No. 1 in green cars, Nissan Motor Co. is aiming to sell 1.5 million battery electric vehicles by fiscal year 2016.

Preparing for stricter fuel-economy standards, the Japanese automaker hopes to cut carbon footprint by 20 percent per vehicle and improve fuel economy by 35 percent compared to 2005 levels.

Nissan President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said, “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,” he added.

Nissan is already working on a fuel cell vehicle and environment technology like clean diesels. It will be sharing development costs with Daimler AG.

Investment in environment technologies
As a part of the new five-year environmental plan, Nissan revealed plans of launching a plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2015.

The Nishi-ku, Yokohama-based automaker, which is 43.8 percent owned by Renault SA of France, also said that it will be spending nearly 70 percent of investment on environment technologies.

The company is already working on a fuel cell vehicle and environment technology like clean diesels. It will be sharing development costs with Daimler AG.

“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,” said Ghosn.

Sales strong
Nissan, like other Japanese automakers, was adversely affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Though its profit fell, sales remained strong.

During the first quarter (April-June) of fiscal 2011, the automaker sold 1,056,000 vehicles, nearly 10 percent more than the same quarter last year.

Also, Nissan's electric car Leaf, which went on sale in December 2010, has outsold General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt for the sixth consecutive month in September.

Nissan has sold around 16,600 Leaf cars since it launch.