We didn’t think it would happen, but here it is.
Nissan has just made a bold announcement: they will be launching the Leaf electric vehicle in the Philippines in 2020.
The confirmation came just today by Yutaka Sanada (Nissan Regional Senior Vice President, Nissan Motor Asia & Oceania) at the Nissan Futures event, a symposium where Nissan brings together industry leaders, researchers from the academe, and other subject matter experts to talk about the future of motoring and mobility in general. This year’s Nissan Futures is being held in Hong Kong in conjunction with Nissan’s participation in the all-electric Formula E racing series.
The Nissan Leaf is a fully electric vehicle and is now in its second generation. The Leaf holds the distinction of being the most successful electric vehicle in terms of sales, and has been very well received in the markets it is being offered. Just recently, the Leaf surpassed the 400,000 unit mark for the nameplate.
The announcement of the Leaf for the Philippine (and Indonesian) market is part of the Nissan’s drive to have 25% of the vehicles offered in Asia and Oceania be driven by electric power.
The curious part is that being a battery electric vehicle (BEV) the Leaf has no internal combustion engine, meaning it relies solely on special charging equipment and infrastructure that is by and large still not established throughout the country.
In previous press briefings, Nissan executives have stated that the Leaf should have plenty of range for a typical urban runabout. The timing is also interesting given that stakeholders in the energy and fuel retail sector are starting to work on introducing charging stations around the capital.
While there are no indicators on pricing or available variants, the Leaf will benefit from a unique provision or the tax reform law: being a fully electric vehicle, it will be 100% exempted from excise taxes.