EVs are ‘clearly’ the future despite slow start, Renault’s Normand says

The global market for electric vehicles has not grown as fast as Renault expected when CEO Carlos Ghosn announced a bold investment of 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) six years ago to develop the technology, said Gilles Normand, the automaker’s senior vice president for electric vehicles.

Although most EV buyers are in cities or suburbs, increasing numbers of people in rural areas are choosing battery powered cars, Normand says.

However, electric vehicles are “clearly” the future of the automotive industry, Normand told attendees of the 2017 Automotive News Europe Congress here on Wednesday.

In 2011, Ghosn had predicted that the Renault-Nissan alliance would have the ability to produce half a million electric vehicles by 2013. Last year, total sales of electrified vehicles including pure electric and plug-in hybrids from all automakers were about 465,000.

While overall sales figures have not hit Ghosn’s early target, the alliance is the global leader with its Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf electric cars.

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