Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan’s European electric vehicle division head, is forecasting that 20-percent of its vehicle sales will be electric by 2020.

“We’re committed to zero emissions and I passionately believe that’s where [our lineup] is headed. We believe that by 2020, where the market conditions are right, we’ll be selling up to 20-percent of our volume as zero-emissions vehicles.”

Dunsmore cited the world’s highest-percentage consuming PEV market as an example.

“If you look at Norway, that’s the case there today,” he said. “In March, six-percent of sales in the whole of Europe were electric vehicles — the Leaf and e-NV200. The tipping point is starting to happen, and it’s going to happen city by city, country by country.

“This gradual pace of change means we’ll still build vehicles for everyone, but step by step you’ll see the electrification of the Nissan range and you’ll see us heading towards a zero-emissions future.”

Dunsmore’s prediction is parallel to one made by Nissan corporate officer Hiroto Saikawa last December at the automaker’s Yokahama, Japan-based headquarters. Saikawa told reporters that Nissan is intensifying its electrification and will boost EV sales by 10 percent by the end of the decade.

Saikawa said two factors would make EVs go mainstream by 2019/2020.

First is worldwide strict greenhouse gas emission targets will begin to go into effect by 2020, which can only be met by a substantial increase in electric vehicles. The other factor is batteries that are affordable and capable with the potential of 250-mile range will be ready at this time.

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Dusnmore also said improvements were needed from ‘the cradle to the grave’ for electric vehicle technology.

“We’re continuously evolving what metals we’re putting into the battery, but you’ve got to remember it’s also about how you manage that battery once it’s finished its life within the car.

“We believe the battery will outlast the life of the car, and it’s about reusing that battery afterwards, rather than recycling.