Nissan Motor Co announced Monday that it will invest 2 trillion yen ($17.59 billion) over the next five years to advance vehicle electrification, betting that tighter carbon emission regulations will increase demand for electric and hybrid vehicles.

By fiscal 2030, the Japanese car maker plans to introduce 23 new models, including 15 new electric vehicles, and to electrify half of its fleet.

Nissan's increased investment in battery-electric vehicles coincides with growing consumer demand for such vehicles in major auto markets such as China and the United States, as well as the launch of innovative electric vehicles by competitors.

Nissan, which is on course to return to annual profit for the first time in three years, is attempting to capitalize on the technology it accumulated as an early entrant into the electric vehicle market.

Although EVs account for a minority of vehicles on the road, the International Energy Agency has reported that global registrations of EVs increased 40% last year, despite the fact that the world's automotive market contracted by nearly a sixth.

The Yokohama-headquartered Nissan was an early pioneer, introducing the world's first mass-produced EV, the Leaf, in 2010. The Leaf remains one of the world's best-selling EVs, albeit its annual sales have been surpassed in recent years by Tesla Inc.'s models.

Nissan, like other Japanese automakers, has not yet committed to phasing out fossil-fuel vehicles entirely.

This month, at the United Nations climate meeting in Glasgow, major automakers including General Motors and Ford Motor Co signed a declaration committing them to phase out fossil fuel vehicles by 2040.

Nissan has been increasing its EV ambitions and has announced a flurry of investments, including plans to establish a $1.4 billion hub in the United Kingdom to manufacture battery-powered cars.

The much-anticipated Ariya SUV and other electric vehicles from the firm are ready to enter an increasingly saturated market. Global EV sales are expected to exceed 10 million annually over the next decade.

Meanwhile, Nissan Motors has appointed Csaba Vincze as the company's new fleet chief.

Vincze brings a breadth of omni-channel knowledge to the position gained across numerous markets in the automobile industry, as well as several years of interaction with the manufacturer's British dealer network.

Vincze previously served as head of the MD office in Britain and as a member of the management committee. He has also held senior positions in Nissan's Central and Eastern European region, including as director of the sales department and as product and fleet manager for light commercial vehicles.