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September 19, 2020

Nissan PH Remains Committed to Launching the Leaf EV

Despite the on-going pandemic and associated economic slowdown, Nissan Philippines remains committed to launching its all-electric Leaf. This was confirmed by Atsushi Najima, president of Nissan in the Philippines during a media roundtable. The world’s best-selling electric vehicle is on track for a launch before the end of Nissan’s fiscal year which ends March 31, 2021.

Najima-san confirmed that Nissan Philippines has brought in several units of the Leaf as part of real-world testing and evaluation prior to its market launch. He says that electric vehicles present a new kind of ownership experience so it’s very important for them to understand the Filipino psyche. This will also help their marketing and sales team push the Leaf as its launch nears.

Part of the car company’s evaluation includes daily life experiences such as taking the Leaf on long drives.

“The Nissan Leaf has a range upward of 240 kilometers on a single charge,” says Najima-san. “However, we have to carefully evaluate how factors like weather and traffic can affect it. Based on personal experience, I was able to drive it from Makati to Cavite and back to Nissan’s office in Bonifacio Global City with charge still remaining.”

The trip, based on Google Maps is roughly 70 kilometers round trip.

Apart from range, Nissan also has to determine how the Leaf’s key features such as the e-Pedal will work in the local setting. The e-Pedal allows the driver to start, accelerate, decelerate, and stop using only the accelerator pedal. Lifting off the accelerator mimics stepping on the brake pedal, allowing the vehicle to slow down and even come to a complete stop without having to engage the brake pedal.

As the Leaf’s launch looms near, Nissan has yet to finalize its pricing. Najima-san says pricing will be down to whether the government can pass the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act.

The bill seeks to provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for electric vehicles, specifically with regards to its importation, utilization, and manufacture. Among the possible benefits include a 9-year exemption from value-added tax, customs duties, and discounts on the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge as well as expedited registration procedures for EV users.

Najima-san did confirm that the Leaf will be available first at a handful of Nissan dealers which will also install fast chargers.

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