Nothing has escaped the critics' dismissal, from the car’s limited driving range to what they consider its inflated price tag. But according to the New York Times, Carlos Ghosn, chief executive at Nissan and its partner automaker, Renault, dismisses the scoffing as his rivals’ lack of imagination – and their envy.
“They don’t have one, so it’s not a surprise,” said Ghosn during an interview at Nissan headquarters. "People who are challenged by innovation are going to fight it in the beginning.”
The Leaf is part of a bigger plan Ghosn had put together to redefine a brand that has been technologically outdated by other manufactures in the field of green mobility.
"Nissan was a ‘me too’ company,” Ghosn said. “But in electric, we’re pioneers.”
Ghosn added that the traveling range of the Leaf, estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 73 miles on a fully charged battery, would exceed the needs of most motorists while it's "inflated price tag" would be cut down by volume production and tax credits, which Nissan says come to $7,500 in the United States.
At first, Nissan will only produce a small batch of Leafs, having the capacity to build 50,000 vehicles in the first year, 20,000 of which will be shipped to the United States. Ghosn said Nissan is expected to sell at least a million units in the first six years of production – considered a model's standard life cycle.
"We’re not selling 5,000 or 10,000 cars,” Ghosn said. “We’re talking about a massive option in the market.”