Don't blame us, blame the infrastructure. That's what Renault-Nissan Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn essentially said when he explained why his two companies will miss their 2016 goal of having cumulatively sold 1.5 million electric vehicles, the Detroit Bureau reports, citing an interview Ghosn conducted with the Financial Times. Ghosn says that the lack of vehicle-recharging infrastructure pushed out by the US, European and Chinese governments has been more of a factor in the sales situation than the increased pricetag associated with plug-ins. He added that he expected German automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz to be Renault-Nissan's "main" competitors on the EV front, moving forward.
Still, Renault-Nissan's numbers are a pretty big miss. Renault-Nissan's cumulative EV sales by 2016 are likely to be closer to 500,000 than 1.5 million, with the latter number likely not to be reached until after 2020. Currently, Renault-Nissan's running total is about 120,000 EVs worldwide. In July, the Alliance said it had surpassed the 100,000-unit threshold for its electric vehicles, with about 70 percent of those vehicles being sold by Nissan. There are more coming, though. Earlier this month, Renault-Nissan and Mitsubishi announced a collaboration to co-develop an electric vehicle based on the tiny "kei car" compact platform.
The marquee 1.5 million figure was reiterated as recently as late last month, when Nissan announced its Nissan Green Program 2016. Meanwhile, in 2009, Ghosn made headlines by predicting that EVs would account for 10 percent of the new-car market by 2020.