One of the world's biggest car manufacturer, which soon plans to roll out its all-electric Nissan Leaf, said it would need public and government assistance to meet the volumes that are necessary to keep the cost of the vehicles low, said Carlos Tavares, the Executive Vice President of Nissan and the company's CEO in the United States.
"We will need support for three to five years," he said in an interview with Poornima Gupta and Nicolas Delame who report for Reuters' French service. The company hopes to get the support to afford sufficient volumes so it can generate cost savings.
The taxpayers in the United States are now eligible for up to $7,500 tax credit if they buy an electric car. In some states like in California, they are offered more.
Nissan Leaf has a starting price of 32,780 dollars. It is cheaper than Chevy Volt that comes with a $41,000 price tag. However, in California the Leaf may cost only 20,000 dollars if the state tax credit is included. Since April , when Nissan began taking orders for the Leaf, the Japanese manufacturer has registered 17,000 requests to the United States.
Nissan plans to have eight electric car models by 2012. The Leaf will have a special battery manufactured by the carmaker itself and will have a range of 100 miles. After its new American assembly plan in Smyrna is completed Nissan plans to have increase the production of the Leaf from 50,000 to 150,000 units.
Carlos Tavares said that Nissan was important for the price of the car is affordable .
"To put the cursor on the volume, it takes a mass market , " he said .
The remarks came the same day as the marketing director of General Motors [ GM.UL ] Joel Ewanick 's announcement that the Chevy Volt by the American manufacturer would be sold from $ 41,000 .
Reference: Nissan Leaf