Not lacking confidence
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi CEO, Carlos Ghosn, says the Alliance is likely alone in making money from electric vehicles.
"We are probably the most advanced carmaker in terms of costs of electric cars and we have announced already in 2017 that we are probably the only carmaker who's starting to make money selling electric cars," Ghosn told CNBC.
"We know that there's a steep curve before you start to make money out of electric cars," he continued. "I think we are well advanced."
His statement comes after Nicholas Thomas, global electric vehicle project director for Nissan, told media he was confident the second-generation Leaf would maintain its spot atop the worldwide EV sales charts.
“We’ve sold more than 350,000 [electric] cars around the world,” he said. “We are the leading electric vehicle manufacturer around the world – we’ve sold more than anybody else."
The first-generation Leaf has found around 300,000 homes, while 50,000 e-NV200 vans are in service worldwide.
“The Nissan Leaf is already the world’s best-selling electric vehicle and now with this new version we’re introducing, we’re very, very confident that we are going to continue that position and keep going with a fantastic product.”
Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi is planning 12 EVs by 2022, but competition is already starting to heat up. Toyota wants 10 pure-electric vehicles by 2025, the Volkswagen Group wants to sell one million electrics by 2025 and GM plans to offer 20 battery-electric vehicles by 2023.
Asked about the Silicon Valley upstart's pre-order numbers, Thomas didn't seem flustered.
“Am I worried about the competition? No, not at all," he said.