Politicians take every chance of trolling each other in recent times. In the latest such incident, Shashi Tharoor and BJP minister – Kannathanam trolled each other while test driving the Nissan Leaf electric car. The trolling made it to a report on MalayalaManorama. Both the ministers were present to inaugurate Nissan’s first ever Global Digital Hub in India.
The first-of-its-kind hub is located in Trivandrum and would be critical in Nissan’s overall development in the digital world.
A number of ministers were present during the inauguration and a Nissan Leaf, which is one of the most popular electric cars around the world was also present at the spot. BJP minister Kannathanam and Congress minister Shashi Tharoor took turns to test drive the vehicle at the spot. Kannathanam had stopped the vehicle when he realized that he’s not wearing the seatbelt and came out of it. Shashi Tharoor, who was standing and waiting for his turn said:
“See, BJP is making way for Congress”. Kannathanam replied “Don’t go and crash anywhere” to which Tharoor replies “But you’ve crashed so many times”. The quirky conversation goes on and Kannathanam announces: “the car is not safe (with Shashi Tharoor driving) and everyone should escape if they care about their lives”. Later Shashi Tharoor was asked about the colour choices available in the Nissan Leaf and he replied by saying “Kannathanam knows a lot more about colours”. The changing colours comment hints at Kannathanam’s changing alliance in the past where he changed a lot of political parties.
It is interesting to know that Nissan was one of the bidders for the ESSL contract to supply 10,000 electric vehicles in India. However, due to the lower bid prices, Tata and Mahindra had won the bid. There are strong chances of Nissan Leaf being launched in India in the future as its first-ever fully electric vehicle. Earlier, a Nissan official said that the Leaf 2, which is the same vehicle that is being test-driven by Shashi Tharoor would be launched in India in this fiscal year.
Reportedly, Nissan has already started the homologation process and few units of the Nissan Leaf 2 would be stationed at their Chennai plant. The vehicles would be sold as Completely Built Units (CBU) at first, which will invite a high amount of tax. India imposes more than 110% tax on the import of completely built units of vehicles, which increases the price of any vehicle substantially. Looking at the price, Nissan is not expecting it to be a high-volume product but it sure would be a start for the Japanese brand.
The Nissan Leaf 2 is a second-generation model of the vehicle. It is a 5-door, 5-seater vehicle and looks quite good on the roads. The Leaf 2 follows Nissan’s global design language and gets a signature V-Shape grille at the front. It gets powered by an AC synchronous electric motor that generates a maximum of 148 Bhp at 3,283 Rpm and 320 Nm of peak torque at 3,283 Nm. It gets an automatic transmission. The vehicle gets a 350V, 40 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged to up to 80% in just 40-60 minutes. It can go for 378 km in a single charge. The Leaf can get a price tag of around Rs. 40 lakhs when launched in the Indian market.