Almost Zero Interest if it's Not Zero Emission
Nissan CEO not interested in the hybrid game, says EVs are the way to go
In an interview with Automotive News today, the Nissan CEO declared that the company is “not intending to play a leadership role in hybrids” and noted that “one company already assumed leadership in the technology."
Presumably, Ghosn was referring to Toyota, with its category-defining Prius hybrid. The interview, in fact, centered on Nissan's plans not to offer a stand-alone hybrid vehicle; instead, hybrid drivetrains will be offered only for existing models (and then most likely for the company's larger vehicles, which would follow the lead of Nissan's first hybrid -- the Infiniti M35 -- which is slated to roll out in 2012).
This is not a case of Nissan giving up, though; rather, the company is looking to carve out its own niche. Ghosn notes that Nissan wants to be known not for hybrids, but rather for zero-emission electric vehicles, like its upcoming Leaf (pictured).
Like I noted earlier today, we are starting to see a new wave of companies trying to demarcate their customer base through the technologies they choose to embrace: For example, Toyota is the current leader in gas/electric hybrids; Suzuki is one of the few seriously pursuing hydrogen fuel-cell technology; and Nissan is forgoing a real hybrid push to focus on zero-emission EVs.
Let the battle(s) begin!
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