Underscoring his commitment to all-electric propulsion, Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said electric vehicles will have the same transformational impact on the auto industry as Apple’s iPhone has had in the communications sector.
“Electric vehicles will be to the car what the iPhone is to the telephone,” Ghosn said at the opening of the Web 10 conference in Paris this week.
“Our aim is to rediscover modernity in the automotive industry and build the path to a greener, cleaner and quieter future in our cities,” he added.
Web 10 bills itself as Europe’s Number 1 internet event. Every year more than 2,500 web entrepreneurs from 60 countries attend the conference. Representatives from companies such as Google, Microsoft, Orange, Alcatel Lucent, Facebook and Twitter were all present this year.
Ghosn is betting heavily on electric vehicles, both at Renault and alliance partner Nissan.
On display at the show was the Renault Twizy, a new full-electric tandem concept with four wheels and a steering wheel. Renault, like most car companies, is planning a range of electric models.
The company said the Twizy demonstrates its commitment to environmental and technological mobility that is accessible to all.
Ahead of the launch of its complete range of electric cars, Renault said it is actively reviewing its communication and service operations.
Earlier this year, it launched Plugquest, an application used by electric vehicle users to take photos of places they would like to see charging stations installed. This information is being shared with partners to build the charging network.
Renault said in a press release that it considers digital communication platforms a new tool for developing more automotive services, safety and comfort. It also noted its recent launch of an “iAD” on the iPhone.
Nissan has high hopes that its LEAF electric vehicle will be as successful as Toyota’s Prius hybrid has been in recent years.
The LEAF goes on sale in Japan later this month, but is already sold out there. It will be in showrooms in the US before year-end as well. A rollout schedule for Europe hasn’t been announced yet, but German dealers don’t expect the model until 2012