Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan, unveiled the company’s five-year business plan in May 2008. The plan—called “Nissan GT 2012” with the G and T signifying growth and trust—puts a major emphasis on electric vehicles. Hybrid and EV fans responded with a chant in unison: “Bring it on.” But green car enthusiasts also engaged their well-worn vaporware alert systems to detect false promises, improbable plans, and insincerity. For the past few years, Ghosn has consistently called gas-electric hybrids “niche products” and “not a good business story.” He has apparently experienced a dramatic conversion from hard-nosed businessman to electric car preacher. Many of the headlines about Nissan’s electric car plans mentioned 2010 as the target date—but that date is for fleet testing. A more careful reading puts retail sales of Nissan EVs at 2012, at the earliest.

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