Nissan predicts 10 percent of car sales will be electric by 2020

Carlos Ghosn has never been shy with his pronouncements. The CEO of Nissan, who came to Japan via the carmaker's purchase of French auto company Renault, has always been an outspoken and voluble leader. However, his latest prognostication, according to Bloomberg News, that 10 percent of all cars sold globally will be electric vehicles by the year 2020, sounds extremely ambitious.

The math behind this assertion came from an M.I.T. study that pegged the number of electric cars on the road at 10 million by 2016, including 5 million inside the U.S. Ghosn made his 10 percent prediction at a press conference on August 1 in Yokohama, while unveiling the new Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. The car got solid reviews from auto bloggers and mainstream media automotive reporters. But the Leaf faces huge hurdles before it can go mass market -- much like other electric vehicles.