The Nissan Leaf fully-electric car, Japan’s Car of the Year 2011/2012, will be on Malaysian roads sometime during the first half of next year. However, sales will not commence as the cars being imported will be for a pilot program run by Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM).
According to Dato’ Dr Ang Bon Beng, Executive Director of ETCM, the pilot program is in line with Nissan’s comprehensive efforts toward the realization of a zero-emission society. “This program will involve Electric Vehicle awareness-sharing and experimental drives by government bodies, members of the media as well as the public,” he said.
|The Leaf is a pure electric vehicle so ‘refuelling’ means recharging the lithium-ion battery pack|
The Leaf has been on sale since the end of 2010 and over 20,000 units have been sold up till the end of November this year. It is priced at 3.76 million yen in Japan (about RM152,800) and with the present government incentive of duty-free importation of hybrids and electric vehicles, the price would likely be similar for Malaysian buyers.
However, ETCM has not indicated when commercial sales will start and the incentive is offered only till the end of 2013, after which no one knows whether the government will continue it. In countries where governments offered incentives for hybrids, such incentives have been withdrawn but incentives continue to be offered for electric vehicles. This is to increase their popularity, allowing manufacturers and suppliers to raise production volumes and achieve economies of scale.
To know more about the Leaf and Nissan’s Zero Emission Strategy, click here.