Nissan commits to full electrified range in Singapore

ST VIDEO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The battery-powered Nissan Leaf, launched at the 2019 Singapore Motorshow at the Suntec convention centre on Jan 10, 2019, will kick off the carmaker's ambitious programme.
The battery-powered Nissan Leaf, launched at the 2019 Singapore Motorshow at the Suntec convention centre on Jan 10, 2019, will kick off the carmaker's ambitious programme.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Nissan Motor has become the first car maker to commit to a full electrified range here.

The company announced at the Singapore Motorshow on Thursday morning (Jan 10) that by 2022, all its new models arriving here will be either fully battery-powered or hybrids.

Mr Ron Lim, head of sales and marketing at Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, told The Straits Times that up to seven electrified Nissan models will be due.

Kicking off this ambitious programme is the battery-powered Leaf, which was launched at the motor show at Suntec convention centre. The car, which has a range of at least 250km, is expected to be priced below $150,000.

Next will be the Nissan Serena e-Power, an MPV driven by an electric motor with batteries kept constantly charged by a small petrol generator. It will be launched in the second half of this year.

Electric models took centre stage at the event, with half a dozen zero-emission models being showcased. These included the Hyundai Kona Electric and Jaguar I-Pace - both of which promise a driving range of 400km or more.

At the sidelines of the show, private-hire player Grab confirmed that it had bought 200 Kona Electric cars, with the first 20 hitting the road from Friday (Jan 11).

The rental for the battery-powered car is $80 per day - equivalent to comparable petrol models. Grab said its drivers get a 30 per cent discount on electricity charges at SP Group's network of chargers.

Taxi operator ComfortDelGro, meanwhile, has added two Kona Electric cars to its fleet as part of a trial that began in July last year.

In all, 25 launches and unveilings took place at the Singapore Motorshow, which showcased 140 cars across 31 brands.

The show kicked off as the motor trade entered a year of uncertainty. Singapore Motor Traders Association Glenn Tan said the supply of certificates of entitlement (COEs) is expected to shrink by around 10 per cent this year.

But he added that prices may not change significantly in spite of that because of bearish economic sentiments.

The wild card, however, is new private-hire firm Gojek, which is seen heating up demand for cars - just as Uber once did.

"If Gojek does not go crazy, we should be fine," Mr Tan said.