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Building a sustainable electric mobility future

Makoto Uchida

Senior Vice President Makoto Uchida, chair of Nissan’s Management Commitment for China, spoke at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, on July 3. Uchida discussed the need for governments around the world to adopt a multi-power strategy to accelerate the move toward an electric mobility future.

By Makoto Uchida
Nissan senior vice president and chairman of the Management Committee for China

At Nissan, we have known for a long time that the future of mobility will be more electric, more connected and more autonomous. But to turn the promise of an electric mobility future into a reality, it will require more than one kind of electric vehicle technology. It will require a multi-power strategy.

This week, I joined the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China. It was an honor to participate, representing Nissan as chairman of our Management Committee for China. There were many important and innovative ideas discussed at the meeting, and it was clear that there is very strong momentum for building a sustainable electric mobility future for China. At Nissan, we are thinking big when it comes to EV technology. Along with autonomous driving and connectivity, electrification forms the heart of our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision to move people to a better world.

Senior Vice President Makoto Uchida, chair of Nissan’s Management Commitment for China, spoke at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, on July 3.

This is an important moment for electric mobility in China and across the world. As EV markets develop rapidly, they face challenges including reduced government incentives, charging infrastructures that remains inadequate in most of the world, concerns about the driving range of current EV battery technology, and the need for faster EV development. At the same time, different customers have different needs. There is no “one size fits all” solution for all countries and all regions, as they differ in size, economic strength, infrastructure and customer needs.

Nissan has been thinking about these challenges for a long time. To address them, we are embracing a multi-power strategy that is more market-focused and more customer-focused. We are also drawing on our 70-year history of developing EV technologies and our long track record of selling exciting and reliable electric cars to the mass market.

For example, today the Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling EV with more than 400,000 vehicles sold worldwide. It has also proven its reliability through more than 10 billion kilometers driven. In China, the Nissan Sylphy Zero Emission, our first EV made in China for China, is now on sale. This past April in Shanghai, we announced that we will bring our unique e-POWER technology to China within the next two years. e-POWER uses a 100% electric motor that is powered by a gasoline engine. We are also continuing to research other EV technologies like hydrogen, fuel cells, hybrid and others to see how they can also be part of the long-term solution.

Nissan and our joint venture partner in China, Dongfeng Motor Ltd. (DFL), have made electrification a central part of our midterm business plan, called DFL TRIPLE One. According to the plan, by 2022 we aim to have 20 electrified models (EV and e-POWER), 30% of all sales electrified, three key e-components shared by EV and e-POWER to be 100% localized within three years, and more battery recycling, reuse, and power storage facilities to be built by 2022.

To support the goals of our DFL midterm plan, we will continue to embrace this multi-power strategy for electrification in China. We will follow an approach that brings the right products to market only when the market is ready and design products to meet the specific needs of Chinese consumers. We are confident in this approach. However, we can’t do it alone. We need the continued collaboration with the government, both central and local, and our partners on this approach.

But what happens in China’s EV market will also send clear signals to other nations trying to transition to an electric mobility future. That is why, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian, I encouraged the public and private sectors in China and across the world to embrace this multi-power and multi-energy strategy to meet the diversified needs of consumers in different regions. This approach will speed the adoption of EV technologies by more customers everywhere.

This is the right path forward for realizing the full potential of electric mobility. Nissan stands ready to do our part to ensure that this future arrives soon.