The Nissan Leaf is officially on sale here in the Philippines.
And at a price point of P2,798,000, it is not something we want to buy at once considering that we are in the middle of a pandemic.
So why would Nissan exert so much effort in introducing their best selling electric vehicle in the Philippines when industry numbers at the moment seem to say it is not a proper prospect for car buyers?
Well, the first answer is a Nissan survey. According to Nissan Philippines President Atsushi Najima, more than half of the people they surveyed said they will be very interested in acquiring a Nissan Leaf should it be available in the local market.
Of course those answers cam with caveats like proper parts and service support, charging station infrastructure and some other freebies.
But the main point there is that many of those Nissan consulted agreed with the move considering that the global direction is towards electrification of mobility and distancing from fossil fuel power.
This manner of judging a vehicles saleability is not new to Nissan Philippines.
About a five years ago, Nissan observed a proliferation of gray market Nissan GTR’s locally. This was a puzzle to them since the previous franchise holder of Nissan in the country were convinced that bringing in the GTR’s is a losing proposition.
Nissan, of course, did an informal survey, the result of which told them that many Nissan fans are willing to buy the sportscar from them if they bring it in.
That move is history and we now see the Nissan GTR and other Nissan sportscars rolling around our city streets.
Nissan believes that the same result could be achieved considering, as we earlier said, that the global trend is for cars to become electrified.
Another answer to the same question, why did Nissan decide to gamble on Leaf locally is the Filipino’s passion for new automotive products. And while the Prius of Toyota did not really tip the scales for EV’s when it was introduced over a decade ago, I am guessing it created awareness among Filipinos that EV’s are coming and maybe here already.
The Toyota Prius was way ahead of its time, but its success is that it was the forerunner, the trailblazer for electric vehicles. Because people saw them on the streets, the road to acceptance became much easier. And Nissan intends to capitalize on this.
In fact, Nissan Regional Vice President Isao Sekiguchi himself said that he is amazed at the Filipinos passion for cars and he believes this is the reason Leaf will eventually become a success here.
Also read: NissanPH launches the LEAF EV
Now, as I said in the title, charging your Nissan Leaf is going to be free. And it really will. Because Najima told us that Nissan Philippines will be allowing Leaf owners to use their charging station at the 3 dealers in Metro Manila if the owners wish so.
Of course, Najima went on to explain that it would be such a hassle to be doing that all the time especially if one lives quite a distance from any of the showrooms.
“It only costs about P350 pesos worth of electricity to charge a Nissan Leaf at home. This is a full charge that can drive the Leaf over 300 kilometers of charge distance,” explains Najima.
Nissan will also take care of installing a charging port in your home when you buy a Leaf.
If we do the math, 300 kilometers in todays gasoline prices would be about P2000. It’s not even a full tank, just 40 liters based on my estimate consumption.