Even though two new electric cars are about to make their arrival in the automotive market, the debate over their viability hasn’t stopped.
In a story in Investor’s Business Daily on Monday, columnist George Will said “those who thought the ethanol debacle defined our outer limits of government foolishness pertaining to automobiles were, alas, mistaken.” Will argued that “the Volt was conceived to appease the automotive engineers in Congress, which knows that people will have to be bribed, with other people’s money, to buy this $41,000 car that seats only four people.”
If such proclamations about hybrids and electrics shake your confidence, however, never fear. Yesterday, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan, adjusted his predictions about the cost-competitiveness of electric cars. Earlier, Ghosn had said that electric cars would become cost-competitive with their gasoline-burning counterparts when production volumes reached a million per year. Yesterday, he changed the number to between 500,000 and one million vehicles per year, according to The New York Times.
Ghosn also predicted that the Leaf would hit sales of 500,000 a year in three years.
“We’re going to have to put some efforts into selling the car, but the kind of spontaneous demand is going to be driving the sales for the next three years,” Ghosn was quoted as saying. “There is much curiosity about the car and attention to the car.”
Granted, the curiosity level is high, but will it translate to 500,000 sales per year?
If Ghosn manages to boost sales to 500,000 Leafs a year in just three years, then he deserves to be nominated for auto executive of the century.