Nissan recently launched the world’s best selling Leaf electric vehicle in Bhutan in collaboration with local R&D firm Thunder Motors. The Japanese manufacturer is planning to bring an all-new entry-level electric vehicle to the country and will be focused on first time car buyers. Nissan is also working on the feasibility of launching the entry-level EV subsequently in India as well.
Bhutan based Thunder Motors is a firm that specialises in designing electric vehicles and will provide the knowledge required to convert EVs suitable for Bhutan’s driving conditions. Nissan on the other hand will bring in the advanced technology along with the powertrain and sources required to develop the new EV. It is a possibility that the low cost EV could be badged as a Datsun to identify better with first time car buyers. The Leaf retails at around $30,000 (Rs. 18.16 lakhs) without any subsidy in Bhutan, and the upcoming low cost EV will cost half as much as the Leaf when launched.
Currently, India only has the home developed Mahindra REVA e2o zero emissions electric vehicle plying on our roads. Considering that the infrastructure to support EVs is still rising, the upcoming Nissan EV could come in as a potent alternative to the e2o. The e2o which saw a revision of prices recently now starts at Rs. 4.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai) without the battery cost and the upcoming Nissan EV could be priced in the same range as well. Nissan has been studying the feasibility for its EV’s in India and has received a positive response so far.
Bhutan wants to reduce its dependency on importing fossil fuel in order to achieve its goal on becoming a zero emission nation and the upcoming range of EVs will certainly provide clean transportation to the country. In India, the urban population are slowly adopting to the idea of an EV which is an efficient alternative to fossil fuelled vehicles. While the time frame for the launch of the upcoming EV is not known, Nissan will certainly want to bring the EV and get the first mover advantage alongside Mahindra REVA when the subsidies and infrastructure for electric vehicles are provided as part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.
Source – Autocar Professional