Nissan has just launched the Leaf electric car in Bhutan, a Himalayan kingdom neighboring India. The Japanese car maker, which is betting big on electric cars, plans to build another low cost electric car for the Bhutanese market. Bhutan aims to replace about 5,000 cabs with electric cars and has a homegrown electric car maker known as Thunder Motors.
Nissan is said to be working with Thunder Motors for developing a low cost electric car that will roughly cost half as much as the Leaf. Prototypes of the low cost electric car are under test on roads in Bhutan. As of now, the Leaf is priced at about 19 lakh rupees before subsidy. Therefore, the low cost electric car should cost under 10 lakh rupees, making the car an alternative to the likes of the upcoming Mahindra Verito Electric.
Nissan is said to be contemplating the use of the Datsun name plate for the new low cost electric car that it is c0-developing with Bhutanese electric car maker Thunder. The low cost electric car developed thus could be introduced in the Indian market as well, which currently plays host to a lone operators, the Mahindra Reva E2O.
If Nissan’s low cost electric car plans materialize, the Datsun brand will be the first cut price car brand in the world to get into the growing electric car segment. In future, the Renault-Nissan’s car making alliance’s Dacia low cost brand is also tipped to get into electric cars.
More competition in the electric car space in India would mean more choice and better prices for electric car buyers here. Also, the Indian government’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan of 2020 aims to subsidize electric and hybrid cars to the tune of up to 20,000 crore rupees, a sizeable amount that will benefit electric car makers and buyers alike.