World’s most popular EV for New Zealand
The latest version of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle is to be sold in New Zealand.
Japanese manufacturer Nissan has announced plans to sell the Leaf EV in seven markets in Asia and Oceania during the next fiscal year, including New Zealand and Australia.
The Leaf is the world’s most popular EV, with more than 300,000 of them sold globally since the first-generation model first went on sale in 2010.
It is the icon of what Nissan calls Intelligent Mobility, which is the company’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.
An announcement that the new second-generation will be launched in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand was made at an event called Nissan Futures, a gathering in Singapore of industry leaders, government officials and media from across Asia and Oceania.
Nissan’s regional senior vicepresident Yutaka Sanada said the company is working to bring the new-generation Leaf to as many markets as possible.
‘‘The new Leaf is the most advanced, yet accessible 100 per cent electric vehicle on the planet,’’ he said.
‘‘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.’’
Arrival of the new Leaf – and it has yet to be confirmed when that will happen and what prices might be – will represent a second attempt to sell the Nissan as a new vehicle in New Zealand.
Nissan NZ pulled the plug on the first-generation version in early 2016 when it failed to sell, primarily because of its high purchase price, even though it had eventually been offered for just under $40,000.
However good sales of used Leafs imported from Japan and the UK – they typically sell for around $20,000 – have made the model the most popular EV in this country.
The second-generation model was launched during the second half of last year, and deliveries began in Japan in October, followed by USA and Canada in January and Europe this month.
The car’s new electric powertrain delivers 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque, and a major improvement is that whereas the first-generation version had a range of up to 130km on a single charge, the new model has a range of up to 400km depending on the size of the battery pack.
Meanwhile, the Nissan Futures event has been told that latest research has shown one in three South-east Asian consumers planning to buy a new car are open to purchasing an electric vehicle.
With the right incentives, the region can accelerate adoption of electric and electrified vehicles, the Nissan-commissioned study by market intelligence firm Frost and Sullivan has shown.
The study results also show that contrary to common perception, cost is not considered a deterrent to purchase of an EV – in fact, customers surveyed were willing to pay more to own an electric vehicle. However, the study also shows that lower costs would prompt more people to consider electric cars.
Three-quarters of respondents said they were ready to switch to electric vehicles if taxes were waived.
Other incentives that would sway customers include installation of charging stations in apartment buildings, priority lanes for electric vehicles and free parking (53 per cent).
Nissan’s new-generation Leaf electric vehicle is to be sold new in New Zealand, it has been announced.