With the ambitious plan of transforming Indian market to only electric car only market, manufacturers are planning to bring their electric offerings. Nissan is contemplating on bringing the Leaf electric vehicle to see the customer response.
Nissan will unveil the next generation Leaf in October this year. We may also see the vehicle in the Indian market around the same time. The car will come in small volumes at first to gauge customer response.
“But this (Nissan Leaf) initiative will not be big, it will be a small volume initiative; more to explain to our customers what our brand is about. There is some discussion about bringing it to India this year but it is still to be confirmed,” Colin MacDonald, CEO and managing director of Renault Nissan Automotive India
There are no near-future plans of making the vehicle in India too. The local manufacturing facility is not equipped to handle such a vehicle and the cost of the assembly will be immense. The Leaf is already available in Bhutan and Nissan says that it is easier to import the vehicle in CBU form than putting it together in India and then exporting from here.
India is yet to develop any infrastructure to support electric vehicles. This is the biggest challenge that the government will face while transforming the market to all-electric. Currently, only Mahindra sells electric vehicles in India and they are not very popular too. The brands like Tesla have shown interest in bringing their vehicles to the Indian market but due to less clarity, the Tesla is yet to enter the market.
Many mainstream manufacturers that are already present in India have electric vehicles in their portfolio in the foreign markets. If the market supports such vehicles, it would not take much time to bring the electric vehicles in India. To support the electric vehicles, the government should come up with special schemes that will promote the sale of electric vehicles in India.