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Nissan’s former chairman calls EV plan too timid

“When I launched the first mass-market electric car,” Ghosn recalled, “as you know, everybody was laughing at us about, you know, you guys are lost.”

But now, he said, as other automakers join the race and plow hundreds of billions of dollars into EVs, the vibe is different.

“When you see the investments being done, I don’t think it’s too much,” he said.

“The market is moving with the right amount of money at the right speed. We’re going 100 percent electric,” Ghosn said, pointing to the stratospheric market value of Tesla, which eclipsed $1 trillion this year. “The market is telling you we are completely writing off the combustion engine.”

Ghosn added that he does consulting work in electrified mobility from Lebanon.

And he said Chinese entrants especially are betting big on EVs because they are latecomers to the auto industry and need to invest in the latest, greatest technologies to be competitive.

“The Chinese are going to play beautifully with electrification,” he said.

Ghosn’s upbeat outlook came after Nissan unveiled plans to spend nearly $18 billion to electrify about 50 percent of its global volume by 2030. But Ghosn said that pace is too slow.

“They are really in a very bad position in this race,” Ghosn said of Nissan, delivering one of countless potshots during the address. “There is no vision. They don’t know where they’re going. They have no image about this huge technological transformation that is taking place.”

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