President and Chief Executive Officer
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
At Nissan, our commitment to sustainability is the cornerstone of our business. It is also a driver of innovation. Numerous breakthroughs we've brought to the market—from the zero-emission Nissan LEAF to our cutting-edge Safety Shield technologies—have been inspired by our vision of a better world. As we develop the cars of the future, we're working to create products that not only strengthen our business but also enhance our society, increase mobility and help to solve today's most significant safety and environmental challenges.
For more than a century, cars have helped to drive economies and provided freedom of mobility to billions. But this progress has come at a cost. Every day, more than 3,000 people die in auto-related accidents. Many are due to human error. In the United States, for example, it's the cause of 93% of accidents. In addition, traffic congestion and long commutes result in hours of lost productivity—and exacerbate carbon-output problems. The world's CO2 emissions have grown to exceed 30 billion tons annually. Transport generates at least 20% of these emissions.
As one of the world's leading car makers, Nissan has a responsibility to ensure that the automobile remains a vehicle for global progress and prosperity. This means we must reduce and help to eliminate the negative consequences of car use while bolstering the benefits of clean, efficient transportation. We have launched a variety of initiatives to meet these goals—and to ensure that our business operations conserve water and air resources, minimize CO2 output and utilize renewable energies. One of the most exciting steps we are taking to transform the use and impact of automobiles is our work to deliver Nissan's Autonomous Drive technology to the marketplace.
Autonomous driving vehicles will be the next frontier of transportation. They have significant potential: to conserve energy, enhance traffic management and reduce accidents. With the help of a clear regulatory framework and the support of government and industry partners, Autonomous Drive technologies could eventually lead to "zero fatality" roads.
We have pledged that Nissan will be ready to bring vehicles with Autonomous Drive to the market by 2020. Until then, we are incorporating this technology into our vehicles and introducing it on a progressive basis. In 2013, we demonstrated the advanced stage of our development efforts around the world. In Japan, we became the first automaker to obtain a license plate for public road testing of autonomous driving technologies. And—with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along for the ride—we showcased our Autonomous Drive capabilities for the first time on the streets of Tokyo.
Just as Nissan pioneered the electric-vehicle segment with the introduction of the LEAF—the best-selling EV in history—we are proud to be at the forefront of Autonomous Drive development. And we are committed to maintaining our position as the industry's zero-emissions leader. Since we introduced the LEAF in December 2010, we have sold more than 110,000* worldwide. Our zero-emission EVs are available to customers on four continents, in 35 different countries. Our share of the global EV market is now 45%—the highest in the industry. Together with our partner Renault, Alliance EV sales account for more than 60% of the total EV market, with more than 66,800 units sold globally in 2013.
Our goal with Autonomous Drive is to replicate our achievements in the EV segment. But this isn't about winning a race. It is about building a "zero-emissions, zero-fatalities" future for society.
Making the dream of autonomous drive vehicles a reality will complement our comprehensive sustainability efforts. For example, we are currently on track to achieve a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions from new vehicles by 2050, compared to models released in 2000. Beyond internal activities, we are engaged in broad external efforts that support our sustainability goals, including our long-standing membership in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and our continued participation in the United Nations Global Compact.
Guided by our corporate vision of Enriching People's Lives, we are committed to delivering the world's most innovative, accessible and environmentally friendly products in the 21st century and beyond. With Autonomous Drive now on the horizon, we are approaching an exciting new era of safe, sustainable mobility—and Nissan is ready to lead the way forward.