>> Sunday, September 6, 2009
YOKOHAMA, Japan--Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says the potential payoff from pioneering zero-emission cars is worth the risk of investing billions.
Electric vehicles could take 10 percent of the global market by 2020, or roughly 6 million units in annual sales, Ghosn said.
His comments came during the unveiling of the near-production version of Nissan's new electric four-door Leaf hatchback, which goes on sale next year. Nissan showed the Leaf at the Aug. 2 opening of its new global headquarters here.
Where rivals see a niche, Nissan has "a completely different vision," Ghosn said. "We see it as mass market."
Electric-vehicle sales hardly even register in today's market. But Nissan Motors, after long trailing Honda Motors and Toyota in hybrid vehicle technology, sees its lithium ion battery-powered electric vehicles as a way to jump ahead in the green-car race.