Nissan says aims to sell 1 million electric vehicles annually by 2022

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"Our strong China offensive will start this year, led by a Nissan EV in the C-segment, deriving from the Leaf technology, with a body type adapted to the Chinese customers' taste", Nissan chief planning officer Philippe Klein told reporters in Tokyo. Also, the company aims to have an 8 per cent core operating profit margin and a cumulative free cash flow of 2.5 trillion yen.

Nissan, which also owns Datsun and Infiniti, plans to develop eight new electric auto models by 2022. The project utilizes the growing number of used electric-car batteries that will become available as electric vehicles increase in popularity around the world. Its luxury Infiniti brand would begin carrying new electric models from 2021, it added.

Nissan, the Japanese automaker, said earlier that it wants to multiply by more than six times its annual sales of electric cars by 2023.

In 2017, Nissan sold 163,000 electric vehicles globally. The company, which has an alliance with Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., is among the most aggressive among automakers on semi-autonomous-drive technology. The product offensive will also include an affordable EV in China through the Alliance joint venture eGT New Energy Automotive.

Regarding its plans for autonomous driving, Nissan said "not to have changed its testing program", carried out with "a small fleet of vehicles", after the accident of an autonomous vehicle of Uber which cost the life of a pedestrian on Monday, in the United States.

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The computer-simulated Key Resolve will involve about 12,200 Americans and 10,000 South Korean military personnel, he said. The Koreas agreed earlier this month that their leaders would meet in late April, on the South Korean side of Panmunjom.

The carmaker estimates that, including e-Power hybrid models, electrified cars will account for 40% of the company's sales in Japan and Europe by 2022, and for 20-30 percent in the U.S.by 2025.

Two further electric vehicle derivatives are also being prepared for the Venucia brand.

Nissan's electric push will also include the expansion of its e-POWER technology. The company expects to sell 1 million ProPilot-equipped vehicles a year by 2022.

The auto maker is also planning to equip 20 of its models, mostly in developed markets, with automated driving functions including self-driving capabilities on city roads by 2022.

Some fear a setback for the technology after a pedestrian was killed Sunday night in a crash involving a self-driving Uber SUV in the US, the first death involving a full autonomous test vehicle. Nissan tested its first robo-vehicle ride-hailing service called "Easy Ride" with partner DeNA earlier this month.

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