“We have been innovating for 90 years. Pioneers in the field of crossovers and electric cars. And now we head to the Gigafactory” – Corriere.it

“We have been innovating for 90 years.  Pioneers in the field of crossovers and electric cars.  And now we head to the Gigafactory” – Corriere.it

“Did you ever say Nissan is 90 years old? Is it the fifth largest car brand in the world?” asks interviewer Marco Toro, President and CEO of Nissan Italia, from his office in Rome. The Japanese company is a multinational corporation divided into four regions – Japan, Southeast Asia, America, China and AMIEO (i.e. Africa, the Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania) – and “which looks younger than it is now”, also thanks to continuous business mutations. «We adapt to the market – continues the manager – and to what the customer expresses at a given moment, but maintaining the acid Al-Nawawi Origins: In 1933, the founder’s vision was to introduce a useful innovation that would improve people’s quality of life. The last Nissan may have been the Patrol GR, a high-powered SUV, and it may have been the Z sports car. Today, Nissan is synonymous with crossovers. And electricity.

Any examples?
“As you have seen in our 35 years of presence in Italy, we did this in 1992 with the Micra, the first city car on the market with premium standards: 16-valve engine, power steering, electric windows and air conditioning. In 2007, Qashqai revolutionized the car market. On the one hand, there were SUVs, big, powerful and powerful, but not suitable for everyday life and everyone’s budget. On the other hand, the sedan, the agile car, is the ideal car for family and daily life. In between, nothing, until Nissan invented, first with the Qashqai and then with the Juke, the crossover segment that is today the best-selling in Italy, chosen by one customer in every two. 2010 is the year of the Leaf, the world’s first 100% electric car. After 13 years, everyone is moving in this direction. In 2022, e-Power technology, the plug-in electric vehicle, will arrive in Europe, a real element of the transition towards zero-emission mobility.

And the future?
“As part of the Ambition 2030 vision, there is a global investment plan of around €16 billion and a series of initiatives including the creation of the world’s first production ecosystem at the UK’s Sunderland factory for electric vehicles. It is called EV 36Zero and includes a 35 GW gigafactory (by 2030); Renewable energy “microgrids”; Energy storage system with second life batteries.”

Is it true that you have a “plan” for affordable electric cars?
“Nissan is increasingly focusing on sales quality to ensure appropriate profit levels. At the same time, it is committed to making its cars increasingly available and competitive. It does this through new production methods based on the commonalities of the engines’ key components and with the development of new technologies such as solid-state batteries, which will cost less than half of current batteries and will recharge in a third of the time. In 2024, Nissan will launch a pilot production plant in Japan. The first cars equipped with this technology are scheduled to be launched in 2028.”

Even an electric Micra?
“We have announced a 100% electric compact car, which will replace the Micra. To dominate the B sedan segment, which in Italy amounts to 20% of the market. But at the moment there is no information about the price and name, which may not be Micra.”

The car is undergoing a historic transformation. What opportunities does it bring with it?
“Electric cars, in addition to improving air quality in cities, aim to improve the country’s energy management system. With V2X technology, cars will be large batteries on wheels, able to give and take power from the grid. They will be able to power their homes or offices during the day, feed energy into the grid for profit and recharge at night. The electric fleet also provides the possibility of stabilizing the national electricity grid, storing renewable energy that may be wasted and re-injecting it into the grid during peak demand. The new mobility will also generate new, modern professionalism and create new job opportunities.”

Electric Italy: is it optimistic?
“There is good potential for developing electric mobility. 30% of Italians who will buy a car in the next two years want an electric car, and 80% travel less than 30 kilometers per day: ideal customers for electric cars. However, unfortunately, many customers perceive that the electric mobility experience is expensive and difficult, so they end up staying in the comfort zone of internal combustion engines and hybrid engines. Switching to electric vehicles is not just a change in the car, but also a change in life, habits and relationship with mobility needs. To facilitate the transition, it is necessary to act on two fronts, with coordinated action by producers, government and institutions. On the one hand, barriers to entry must be reduced, with high incentives and preferential taxes provided to reduce purchase prices and management costs. On the other hand, making customers’ lives easier through faster charging stations and harmonizing the advantages of using electric vehicles at the national level. We have no alternatives and we must do everything to eliminate the “switching costs” that take us to the last places in Europe for electric vehicle penetration.

November 18, 2023 (Modified November 18, 2023 | 9:20 p.m.)

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