Electric cars will soon cost the same as standard vehicles, says Nissan

Nissan sales and marketing head Daniele Schillaci speaks to journalists in Tokyo.
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Nissan sales and marketing head Daniele Schillaci speaks to journalists in Tokyo.

A top Nissan executives is forecasting that it won't be long before the purchase costs of conventional cars and hybrid and electric models will be the same.

The forecast came from Daniele Schillaci, Nissan's global head of marketing and sales, at a briefing for journalists from Asia and Oceania in Tokyo.

Schillaci, whose motor industry career has seen him work for Renault, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, and who up until last year was a top sales and marketing executive for Toyota's European operations, told journalists Nissan is working hard on a number of developments including fuel cells, biofuels, hybrids, electric vehicles, and autonomous driving.

It is all part of a Nissan corporate goal to move as close as possible to zero vehicle emissions and zero crash fatalities, he said.

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"We are clear in the directions we are taking in meeting that corporate goal. In the near future you will see more and more electric vehicles, and more autonomous functions in addition to the ProPilot self-drive technology we are currently introducing.

"So you can expect the introduction of more intelligent technology. I can't reveal what it is - but it is coming."

One trend that the motor industry is already experiencing is that public acceptance of electric vehicles is accelerating faster than acceptance of petrol-electric hybrids, said Schillaci.

This is because technological developments are quickly overcoming two of the major issues facing EVs - their range, and the number of charging stations along roading networks.

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"A further challenge is the cost of it all. When you are at the beginning of the development of new technology, it costs. But one day the cost of cars with internal combustion engines, and electric vehicles, will be very close."

He forecast that the purchase costs of these vehicles will equalise within the next 10 years.

"And we forecast in the future the electric vehicle will be part of the ecosystem and your life. You might be able to negotiate a deal with your local electricity company to power your home from your car instead of off the grid, and then recharge your car's batteries using off-peak rates at night."

All of that will add more value to the fixed cost of purchasing a vehicle, said Schillaci.

"Just like your smartphone is now very much a part of your hand, in the future your car will be very much a part of you and your life. It all makes me super-excited," he said.

 - Stuff

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