Nissan is not wasting any time in taking advantage of the Indian government’s policy to promote hybrid and electric vehicles. CNBC-TV18’s Farah Bookwala Vhora reports that the car-maker is gearing up to bring its marquee electric vehicle “The Leaf” to Indian roads.
Nissan wants to electrify the Indian automobile market, quite literally. It has begun testing the waters for the potential launch of “The Leaf” – the world’s first affordable, mass-produced, 100 percent electric & zero-emission car, which has clocked 160,000 units in sales in a short 5-year span. If all goes well, Nissan will become the first global Original Equipment Manufacturer to launch an all-electric vehicle in India. Guillaume Sicard, president, Nissan India, says, “We have tested the leaf over the last 3 weeks now. we’ve tested the leaf with customers, with the press, with the government. We’ve shown the car to SIAM and what we hear now is extremely positive.” So Indian roads could soon see the world’s highest-selling electric vehicle burning rubber.
Sicard says this decision was spurred on by the government’s new FAME policy- the Faster Adoption of Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles. But he adds that for the Leaf to make it here, three requisites have to be met. He adds, “The first one is to have some customer subsidies. and just to benchmark with some countries in the world, in terms of subsidies per car, between 8,000-10,000 dollars. the second condition is we need to work with the government to implement infra and when I’m talking about infra, I’m talking about charging stations. And the third thing that is also a condition is to make sure the government and some administrations are showing the example to the rest of the country by getting some of the EVs.” Nissan says it will initially import The Leaf, even as it explores the possibility of local production over the next few years. Meanwhile, it has roped in IIT Madras to collaborate on improving battery performance from the current driving range of 135 km to 400 km.