Nissan’s new Leaf battery-electric vehicle will go on sale in seven markets in Asia and Oceania during the next fiscal year, with the automaker saying it is working to bring the new-generation EV to as many markets as possible.
Yutaka Sanada, Nissan regional senior vice president, says Nissan will launch the model in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. The company also is looking at other markets in the region, including Indonesia and the Philippines.
“The new Nissan Leaf is the most advanced, yet accessible 100% EV on the planet,” Sanada says in a statement. “The launch in so many markets shows our commitment to playing a leading role in electrification in this dynamic region, and to delivering the future of mobility to the region now.”
The announcement was made at Nissan Futures, a meeting in Singapore of industry leaders, government officials and media from across Asia and Oceania.
The new Leaf features increased power and range, and improved refinement, comfort and convenience. Its electric powertrain delivers 147 hp and 236 lb.-ft. (320 Nm) of torque.
Deliveries of the new model began in Japan last October, followed by the U.S. and Canada in January. The car goes on sale in Europe this month and eventually will be available in more than 60 markets worldwide.
Research released by analyst Frost & Sullivan at the Singapore event suggests the market for EVs has the potential to grow exponentially in Southeast Asia. The Nissan-commissioned
research in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines found 37% of prospective buyers are open to considering an EV as their next car.
Customers in the Philippines (46%), Thailand (44%) and Indonesia (41%) emerged as the most enthusiastic.
The study suggests that with the right incentives, the region can accelerate the adoption of electric and electrified vehicles.
Zivek Vaidya, Frost & Sullivan senior vice president-mobility, says the uptake rate of EVs doesn’t truly reflect underlying demand.
“Contrary to popular belief that the high cost of EVs is the impediment, the survey reveals that safety concerns and charging concerns run high on customers’ minds,” Vaidya says. “If the industry and government can take away these barriers, the full potential of EVs can be reached.”
Across the region, two out of three consumers identified safety standards as the most important factor. Charging convenience followed.
Three in four respondents said they are ready to switch to EVs if taxes were waived. Other incentives that would sway consumers include the installation of charging stations in apartment buildings (70%), priority lanes for EVs (56%) and free parking (53%).
While potential demand for EVs is significant, adoption barriers remain, primarily range anxiety – the fear of running out of power.