Carlos Ghosn, CEO of both Renault and Nissan, shared some very relevant insights on why electric vehicles are unstoppable, and why he does not see any of the tech companies enter the automotive market as a producer. Ghosn gave a speech at the opening ceremony and press breakfast of this year’s New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). My Kitco report (click here to read) focuses on the key aspects, but there was a lot more:
- Autonomous drive, in his view, is only a milestone since it still requires a driver to hold the wheel, and watch the road. Driver-less cars are the goal the industry is aiming at. The Renault Nissan Alliance will have at least 10 models on the road with “significant” autonomous drive capabilities by 2020.
- Battery-electric and hydrogen electric are just two sides of the same coin to him. In both cases, infrastructure is lacking, and creating the required infrastructure is the most important role governments and industry will have to play in years to come.
- The industry is in a complex period of transformation where electronics force car makers into much faster innovation cycles while maintaining safety and quality standards. The focus of the new generation of drivers obtaining their licenses just now will shift from performance to features and convenience.
It was interesting to see how the various manufacturers interpreted the theme at NYIAS, each in their own way. I will put some facts and images together over the weekend to illustrate the scene.