Nissan has been riding high when it comes to the sales of its popular EV offering, the ‘Nissan Leaf’. The Japanese carmaker has announced 10 percent growth in sales for the popular EV, which went home to around 60,000 customers globally in FY2018.
According to the carmaker, the electric car saw robust growth across all the major EV markets – Japan, Europe and the US – in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2018. And it foresees the demand to keep rising as customers embrace the new, second-generation Nissan Leaf, which offers increased range and new, advanced technologies.
The redesigned model, introduced in October 2017, has seen traction in Japan and the US, and Nissan plans to introduce the new Leaf in more new markets this fiscal year, including Latin America and the Asia and Oceania region.
"The strong performance of Nissan’s EV models globally is a testimony to our expertise and leadership in electric vehicle technology,” said Nissan executive vice-president, Daniele Schillaci, who heads the company’s electric-vehicle business. “The unprecedented response to the most advanced electric car in the world, the Nissan Leaf, contributed significantly to the robust growth of Nissan in 2017. The Nissan Leaf is the best-selling electric car in the world, with the widest reach and the greatest availability. We expect its continuous leadership in 2018.”
The company states in FY2017 it sold 54,451 Nissan Leafs, a 15 percent increase from 47,423 a year earlier, and has sold more than 320,000 Leafs since the model was first introduced in 2010.
Sixteen new markets for the Leaf, but India's not in it
Nissan states it will soon launch the Leaf in new markets – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay – additionally to the existing 51 markets worldwide.
Autocar Professional’s sister title, Autocar India had reported that Nissan is keen on bringing the Leaf to India but the green car won’t be cheap at an estimated price of around Rs 50 lakh (ex-showroom). It will instead serve as a technology demonstrator for the company in India. Brought as a completely built unit (CBU), the car would attract a high import duty.
It is understood that Nissan is in talks with the government for tax incentives to make the Leaf more affordable. At present, the government offers subsidies to full hybrids and electrics assembled locally under its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles in India (FAME) scheme.
The Leaf is currently undergoing a pilot-run in India to explore its viability.
The new Nissan Leaf has received a 5-star safety rating from the Japan New Car Assessment Program in February, and the model’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology has helped it score 94.8 points out of a possible 100 for occupant safety in a collision. Along with other features that contributed to the rating include its highly rigid body structure, six SRS airbags, seats with enforced headrests and back frames, and seat belts with pre-tensioners and load-limiting capabilities for the front and rear outboard seating positions.
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