Nissan Motor will debut an electric vehicle in China priced about 30% less than existing models.
Amid a Chinese’s campaign to put more eco-friendly cars on the road.
The Japanese automaker had launched the Venucia e30, an updated version of the Leaf electric car, in China in 2014. It will release a new vehicle as soon as this summer. The car, being developed jointly with local partner Dongfeng Motor Group, will be priced at around 200,000 yuan ($30,360).
Nissan will produce the new car locally and procure more key parts such as batteries from within China than the company does for its existing vehicles. Nissan aims to price the new electric car around the same level as local competition by cutting transportation and other costs.
The new vehicle will sell for 100,000 yuan to 150,000 yuan after government subsidies, comparable to the price of a gasoline-fueled car of the same size. Nissan aims to expand its share in China’s electric car market from 2% in 2015 to 5-10% over the next several years through the new, cheaper model.
China is encouraging the public to buy more “new energy vehicles” — electric cars and plug-in hybrids — in order to reduce pollution and build new industries. The central government provides up to 55,000 yuan in subsidies for the purchase of an electric vehicle. Including additional incentives from regional governments, total subsidies could reach 110,000 yuan. Some 330,000 new energy vehicles were sold in China in 2015, and Beijing aims to lift the total figure to 5 million by 2020.
Electric cars are struggling to gain traction in Japan and the West due to higher prices and the lack of infrastructure, but Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn thinks a state-led campaign could quickly expand China’s electric vehicle market.