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Renault's cheap $8,000 electric car could be here within two years: CEO

A low-cost $8,000 electric car produced by automaker Renault-Nissan could come within in the next two years, chief executive Carlos Ghosn told CNBC Tuesday.

Last week, Ghosn announced the carmaker's plans to launch a cheap electric vehicle in China with a price tag of around $8,000 after subsidies. He did not give a timeline for this during that announcement but has now revealed it could be soon.


"I think our objective is to be on the market within in a couple of years," Ghosn said during an interview moderated by CNBC at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon.

The Renault-Nissan CEO said that the group's Leaf electric car, which starts at just over $29,000, was too expensive in China and that was why there was a need for a low-cost alternative.


"We are at a price point where the sales are just not taking off. So what we decided is go after the market … we are developing a very cheap electric car. Cheap means involving a price point where these cars are selling in China which is about $8,000," Ghosn said.

China's electric car market could be lucrative. So-called new energy vehicle sales increased 162 percent year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. This has been boosted by government subsidies which are generally starting to decrease however and this is where Renault's cheaper electric vehicle could be key.

"What we are seeing that in China what is really selling are the very low cost electric cars. This is where the market is moving," Ghosn said.