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Nissan seeks tonic to grow its Leaf here

Nissan’s move follows that of Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, which introduced its i-MiEV electric vehicle after completing fleet testing in Thailand under an agreement it struck with the government late last year.

Nissan did not specify what tax incentives it needed for the imports of the Nissan Leaf but cited examples of some Thailand’s neighbours.

Malaysia waived both import duty and excise tax to facilitate EV imports. Indonesia exempts import duty but a 40% excise tax remains in place.

“We have asked the Industry Ministry and the Board of Investment to make the incentives for EVs better or at least the same as those of other countries to make Thailand the hub for automotive innovation,” said NMT president Toru Hasegawa.

Currently, imported vehicles in Thailand are subjected to 80% import duty as well as excise tax, which varies based on engine sizes and fuel types. The EV is subject to 10% excise tax, the same as hybrid cars.

Incentives for EVs in Japan, the US and some countries in Europe vary, mostly in the form of tax credits and reductions in vehicle registration fees.

Prices for the Leaf after government incentives are 2.98 million yen (1.12 million baht) in Japan, $25,280 (770,000 baht) in the US and 25,990 (1.27 million baht) in England.

The tailpipe-free Leaf, which boasts zero emissions including carbon dioxide, was first launched last December in Japan, the US and some European countries.Global bookings have reached 27,000 units.

It is powered by a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor, a combination that delivers a performance on par with luxury cars at every speed level, according to NMT.

The Leaf can run 200 kilometres on each full eight-hour charge and 160 kilometres on a quick charge of 30 minutes.

Nissan Motor Thailand (NMT) is keen to offer its electric vehicle (EV) in the mass market in Thailand if the government grants it some tax incentives.

For the vehicle to take off, infrastructure including charging stations is also needed and government support in this area is essential, the company says.

NMT will exhibit the Leaf and advanced technology for sustainable mobility in the automotive industry at the upcoming Bangkok International Motor Show.

“The exhibition of the Leaf is not a showcase of the usual concept car because the Leaf is a true EV manufactured and sold in the mass market,” said Mr Hasegawa.

Nissan was the first carmaker in Thailand to manufacture an eco-car, the March, taking advantage of government incentives to support green vehicle production. (Bangkok Post)


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