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Nissan unfazed by EV delays, dismisses rivals’ fuel cell targets

TOKYO (Reuters) – Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co <7201.T>, said he was unfazed by delays in his electric vehicle sales targets, predicting rivals would face even greater obstacles in their plans to launch fuel cell car sales over the next few years.

Ghosn on Wednesday reiterated that Renault and Nissan would push back by two to three years an initial target to sell a combined 1.5 million electric vehicles by end-March 2017.

While Nissan has moved back its EV target, it also said it would lift U.S. production of its all-electric Leaf, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, after a price cut boosted sales in that market.

“Do I regret my investment on electric cars? No, obviously,” Ghosn told reporters at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan and Renault combined have so far sold only 120,000 electric vehicles since they first brought one to market three years ago.

But the difficulties with recharging infrastructure, which Ghosn blamed as the key reason hobbling electric vehicles’ popularity rather than any technical problems, foretell an even more daunting challenge for fuel cell vehicles, he said.

Both Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> and Honda Motor Co <7267.T> plan to start selling fuel cell vehicles around 2015.

“Frankly, I don’t know how they are going to do it, because knowing all the problems we have, to have a charging system with electricity, where is the hydrogen infrastructure?” Ghosn said.
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