Faster EV uptake needs auto and policy makers to work together: Nissan

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Nissan calls on governments, automakers and other key stakeholders to work together to drive the shift to electric vehicles in Asia and Oceania.

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Data shows Nissan Leaf sales are booming in the first quarter of 2018 | Source: Nissan
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Source: Nissan

Nissan wants to see governments, automakers and other key stakeholders working together to ease the decision for drivers to make the shift to electric vehicles in the Asia and Oceania region, the automaker said at the sixth Philippine EV Summit this week.

The Japanese carmaker says it is committed to leading the world in electric mobility, and intend to introduce a full range of EVs worldwide within four years, but that while the tipping point where battery electric vehicles become cheaper to buy than gas guzzlers is edging closer day by day, many consumers in the region are still hesitant to go EV.

Figures from research conducted earlier this year by Frost & Sullivan in South East Asia on behalf of Nissan has shown although buyers are happy to pay more for electric cars, they also want financial incentives to do so.

In the Philippines for instance, the percentage of potential car buyers keen to purchase an EV jumps from 46% to 75% once financial incentives are put in place such as waiving road taxes.

As Nicholas Thomas, head of Nissan’s electric vehicle business unit, told the Summit on July 10, “What we are going to see is a crossover, a point very soon where battery electric vehicles are going to cross over with internal combustion engine vehicles, and battery electric vehicles are going to become cheaper.”

“That’s not far down the road, that’s already coming closer. If we want to accelerate that trend, that’s where we need some help from government,” he told government and industry officials, stakeholders and media at the summit.

This sentiment is echoed in Australia, where EV uptake continues to lag behind other countries due to long payback periods, as reported by L.E.K. Consulting last month.

A report commissioned by the Clean Energy Finance Corp and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, also suggests that with incentives, EV uptake in Australia would increase rapidly.

Countries leading the way in electric vehicle adoption, such as Norway, have high EV adoption because the break even is far lower (10,000km in Norway according to the L.E.K. Consulting report compared to 40,000km in Australia), thanks to government incentives to buy EVs.

This supports the argument for Nissan Asia’s call, borne out of the company’s participation in the summit to further the discussion on how to accelerate EV sales in the region.

Nissan’s study also showed that other incentives that would sway consumers towards buying battery electric vehicles include installing charging stations in apartment buildings (70%), as well as priority lanes for EVs (56%) and free parking (53%).

“We can help reduce CO2 emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and shift to renewable energies through electric vehicles. Cooperation is the key to this. We need to work together,” Thomas said.

The company is already the maker of the world’s most popular EV, the Nissan LEAF, which won the 2018 World Green Car award this year, and will reach Australian shores as well as Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand in this fiscal year.

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7 Comments
  1. Malcolm Scott 1 year ago

    We need to remember that parking in Australia has mostly been commercialised. Shareholder value is considered more important than best outcomes for community. We are mostly powerless about parking ~ say $6,000 pa revenue forgone for that policy – see Victorian EV trial report.

    If you have access to use bus lanes, you should get your ass out of the car and use that bus to create the most benefit for action on climate change – the primary reason why any proactive policy towards zero emissions transport needs to be pursued.

    Where did Nissan say to it’s dealerships shape up or f….off? The Victorian EV trial 2010-2014 as experienced by EV owners and go to market actions of the dealerships elsewhere revealed that most Nissan dealerships are not up to the task. There’s $4,000 saving of non value adding testosterone there.

    A 2019 60 kWh Nissan Leaf is expected to have a price of 35,000 Euros, UK pounds and US dollars. At 0.57 to 0.70 exchange rates and very low sales volumes to amortise fixed go to market costs all means a very high priced Leafs in Australia that compete with ICE cars in the $25-30k mark.

    Something really radical in supply chain cost reduction is needed to address the 50-100% price premium of EVs in Australia compared with ICE cars. Online sales only, order from factory only, consumer wears exchange rate risk per vehicle for a lower price rather than hedge fund profiteering, parallel imports, second hand imports, LHD with certain driver aids acceptable, drastically reduced dealer network re-transformed to delivery centres/customer service centres, over the air servicing, stringent real world fleet emissions limits for all cars and other light vehicles including SUVs, light trucks, et al. What else?

    What do you think?

    • trackdaze 1 year ago

      Battery and ev drivetrain costs are reducing by 7- 10% per annum so its only a matter of time.

      The fear is if its not already the case we are considered a dumping ground for polluting old tech reserved for thirdworld countries. With exhange rate risks from coals demise import costs including evs are likely to go up not down midterm.

      • Marcelo 1 year ago

        We should be seeing all carbon intensive products rise in price. Beef, pork and lamb for example should rise in relation to white meats. If we see this we know that a market disincentive is in operation.

        In the real world nothing like this is happening. For example, commercial aviation is still offering cheaper flights.

    • MaxG 1 year ago

      Agree… (short and sweet)

    • Robert Comerford 1 year ago

      Mostly agree, but not with the LHD bit. Enough trouble with people getting killed when overtaking without putting the driver on the wrong side of the car.

  2. al edg 1 year ago

    Well the federal government could start by excluding the value of Batteries (and software licenses, safety features, driver aids) from Luxury Car Tax calculations. A Tesla 75D has $11k luxury car tax on it. A 100D has $19k LCT on it (with no options selected). In other words, the Federal Government is charging 33% Tax on the RANGE of a vehicle. I’m not sure if anybody has noticed but Australia is HUGE and Range is NOT A LUXURY! (Neither is Safety). So if they are going to keep their Luxury Car Tax, they should at minimum exclude from the calculation the value of the battery and I would suggest the value of any safety features as well. If you’re buying a car with $20k worth of hand stitched leather made from 30 perfect cow skins, and adding wine chillers and that sort of stuff… sure tax the heck out of that value. But for gods sake don’t tax range and safety in Australia.

  3. Hadtobe 1 year ago

    There will be very little help with EV take up from Federal Govt. What will happen though is when they wake up from the lower tax take of fuel excise, then EV owners will be hit with some form of additional tax.

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