Nissan commits to fully electrified range

ST VIDEO: KUA CHEE SIONG
To kick off its move towards electric vehicles, the carmaker unveiled the battery-powered Leaf at the Singapore Motorshow yesterday.
To kick off its move towards electric vehicles, the carmaker unveiled the battery-powered Leaf at the Singapore Motorshow yesterday.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

From 2022, all its new models arriving here will be fully battery-powered or hybrids

Nissan Motor says all new models it launches from 2022 will be electrified, becoming the first carmaker to set such a bold goal here.

Japan's second-biggest vehicle-maker announced at the Singapore Motorshow yesterday morning that in three years' time, 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 by 2022.

Kicking off this ambitious programme is the battery-powered Leaf, which was unveiled at the motor show. 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, a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) driven by an electric motor with batteries kept constantly charged by a small petrol generator.

The MPV will be launched in the second half of this year.

Besides superior efficiency, the Serena e-Power's road tax is less than one-third that of a conventional petrol car of the same size.

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

On 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 today.

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 has meanwhile added two Kona Electric cars to its fleet as part of a trial it started 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 enters a year of uncertainty.

Singapore Motor Traders Association president Glenn Tan said the certificate of entitlement (COE) supply is expected to shrink - by around 10 per cent - this year.

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

The wild card, though, 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2019, with the headline 'Nissan commits to fully electrified range'. Print Edition | Subscribe