"A lot of ignorance and prejudice"
Sindelfingen: SZ/BZ interview with Thomas Hausch, Nissan's Germany boss, on the acceptance of electromobility
Thomas Hausch comes from Sindelfingen, was for many years "at Daimler" and now works as a managing director at the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan in Cologne. The 49-year-old is driving the issue of electromobility forward.
We talked about this with Thomas Hausch, the Nissan boss for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
What's behind the Nissan campaign "Germany-wide free electricity charging?"
Thomas Hausch: "Since its launch four years ago, we have sold more than 160,000 units of our Leaf electric vehicle worldwide. This makes us by far the biggest. Most successful manufacturers of e-vehicles. If we add the electric cars of our partner Renault, we have sold more electric cars as an alliance than all other manufacturers combined.
Where can I charge my electric car?
But especially in Germany, an automotive lead market, there is a disproportionate amount of ignorance about electromobility and we encounter prejudice. One of these prejudices is the worry of not knowing where I can charge my e-vehicle. And here we are offering all e-vehicle customers across brands to come by our dealerships and charge their vehicle".
The customer's potential for enlightenment is certainly there. Do you have any insights on how their dealers feel about the issue?
Thomas Hausch: "All dealers have at least one so-called wallbox for charging the electric vehicle. But we are noticing how our dealers are becoming more and more enthusiastic about the topic. This is how 50 of our locations have invested in additional charging infrastructure. In the process, more than 20 dealers even have a state-of-the-art fast charger on site that can charge the Leaf to 80 percent of its charging capacity in 20 minutes. Over 45 retailers now have fast chargers. Wallboxes reordered. In addition, as part of our 'Free Electricity for All' campaign, we are also addressing interested parties with a special offer: For less than 250 euros, a Nissan Leaf can be leased without a down payment. We call it the Leaf Ambassador Program because customers who have driven our Leaf are extremely satisfied and should tell their friends and acquaintances so."
With the Leaf and E-NV 200 you have two models on offer. Will you be offering other models in the medium term?
Thomas Hausch: "Anyone who invests as much in electromobility as we do, who already has two models suitable for everyday use in its range with the Nissan Leaf and the Nissan e-NV200, and who is one of the leading manufacturers in Europe with 15.000 electric vehicles is the market leader, it is 100 percent committed to electromobility. There is a long-term strategy behind this and we have more aces up our sleeves."
Fuel prices are relatively low at the moment. Do you see a danger for electromobility that this could make it less attractive to customers??
Thomas Hausch: "I see a polemical danger, but not an objective one. For me, the current drop in fuel prices is akin to a record winter in Germany. Although it is currently cold outside, we still have a climate change – the short impression does not change that. We know that we do not have enough resources. We know that resources are finite and becoming more expensive. We have now been through the issue of fracking. Various energy policy activities a low in oil prices. At the moment many people profit from it, by the way we do too.