Nissan Leaf

NISSAN TO SOON TEST ITS E-VEHICLES IN INDIA

With India drafting electric mobility regulations, Japanese major auto Motor Corporation Nissan sees the country as a key market and will soon be testing its electric vehicles (EVs) here in a big way. 

“We have a long-term plan. In India, we clearly see an important market and from this year we will be doing deep tests. Our team is visiting the country to see the conditions and plan strategies. The localisation strategy for this (EVs) would also be worked out,” Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice-President, Global Marketing and Sales, Zero Emission Vehicle and Battery Business, told reporters in Tokyo recently.

Nissan is already working in the Chinese market, as part of its alliance with Renault, for low-cost battery technology to localise EVs there with local partners.

However, localisation in China would cater to that market right now, and the likelihood of exporting it to other markets, including India, is not considered at being present, he said.

With India working seriously on making electric mobility mandatory by 2030, this is the right time for companies to work towards developing EVs for Indian roads, the company said.

Clear directions

Senior officials in the product planning division said India is an interesting case, as the government’s directions are clear.

However, a lot would depend on the affordability of such vehicles in the country and how the government handles that, they added. “Incentives from the government on such vehicles should be the road forward,” said a senior official.

The Indian government targets to see one million electric three-wheelers and 10,000 electric city buses by mid-2019, a big leap in making the country run only on EVs by 2030.

Apart from Nissan, companies such as Suzuki Motor, Toyota, Renault and Tesla are also working to sell their EVs in India, as are domestic companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors.

But such vehicles require infrastructure support, and manufacturers are waiting to see how this pans out in India.

Countries like the US and Japan have a very good infrastructure in place, which is why EV makers have a good presence there. For instance, since its launch of Leaf EV in 2010, Nissan has sold over three lakh units the world over, with the highest sold in Japan and the US.

Meanwhile, Nissan has unveiled the latest Leaf, which is powered by 40 kWh Li-ion battery and can run 400 km at full charge. The new Nissan Leaf will go on sale from October 2 in Japan.

Higher range

The model is slated for deliveries in January in the US, Canada and Europe. It will be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.

For next year, the company is working on a higher range of the Leaf and promises to make EVs with a minimum range of 360 km per charge, Schillaci added.

Credits: The Hindu

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