Electric cars can succeed in oil-rich states: Ghosn

Electric cars can be successful in Gulf countries and other oil-rich states, but only with initial government help, the president and CEO of Nissan and Renault said on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

"Yes, I think it can," Carlos Ghosn said when asked if the electric car could be successful in oil-producing countries, adding that "it will depend on how much initial support the specific government would give."

The need for initial assistance is not, however, limited to oil-rich countries, he said.

"The electric car will be successful in the United States and in Japan and in Europe" because governments "have decided to support the consumer in order to jumpstart the sales," Ghosn told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

The United States, Japan and various European countries offer incentives to make low- and zero-emissions vehicles cheaper for buyers.

Such support is key, he said.

"If the US government was saying, 'look, I'm not gonna give any incentive for electric cars,' I don't think we would" launch electric cars there, Ghosn added.

Nissan is due to launch its first electric car, the Leaf, later this year.

The car is to have a range of more than 160 kilometres (100 miles) on a charge, a top speed of more than 140 kilometres (90 miles) per hour, and will be powered by a lithium battery.

Ghosn said in a previous trip to Abu Dhabi in February that a Nissan electric light commercial vehicle, luxury sedan and a small "city car" were also in the works, along with four Renault electric vehicles.

On Monday he said that Nissan and Renault have "no plan" to expand production capacity in the Middle East in the absence of a free-trade agreement between Arab countries.

Nissan has a factory in Egypt, and a Renault-managed factory is under construction in Morocco, Ghosn said.

"As long as you don't have a free trade or at least an effective free trade in the Mideast, it's gonna be very difficult to go and make an investment of a large capacity if you can't sell in a seamless way in the Arab countries," he said.

Free trade in the Arab world would be "an incentive for carmakers to establish capacity in the Mideast," he said.

Ghosn also said 2010 is likely to be a record year in terms of industry-wide global car sales.

"There is no doubt (about) the fact that 2010 will end up being the highest year in terms of... total global car sales," he said.

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    QA Manual Tester - Agile

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

    Bursar/Business Manager

    £70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

    Secondary School Teachers in Ipswich

    Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...

    Teaching Assistant

    £45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Qualified and/or experienced te...

    Day In a Page

    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories