What country will lead the world in electric vehicle adoption? On Monday in Portugal, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn suggested that China would lead electric vehicle adoption.
The statement came during a launch event for the Renault Zoe, during which Ghosn talked about China's electric vehicle plans. He said China has plans underway to have production capacity of 2 million electric vehicles per year, by 2020. "This isn't speculation," said Ghosn. "China's decisions are among the most audacious that have been taken by any government."
In most countries electric vehicle adoption is occurring more slowly than most had hoped. However, China has big plans for green technology development. Also, Chinese companies have been aggressive in making joint ventures with or buying up green technology companies.
For example a pair of Chinese companies have been bidding for Fisker Automotive (with Geely reportedly backing out), and A123 Systems was acquired by a Chinese corporation after its bankruptcy.
Ghosn's companies have their own plans in China. Nissan is planning to jointly build an electric car with Dongfeng in 2015, and Renault plans to start local-to-China production of an electric car around the same time.
According to Ghosn, electric car adoption in China may end up being forced by the Government. "China has 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world. They will set the rules so that the consumer buys - that's how it's going to happen."