The Nissan Leaf is finally here and, like you, we have questions. And those questions usually revolve around cost. Now that the sticker shock has abated, we now turn to other financial aspects of ownership.
To enlighten the media, and the public through us, Nissan Philippines organized two virtual press conferences the day after the Leaf launch. Here are the top five things we learned about the first major EV to be sold in our market:
1) A full charge isn’t expensive.
How much is your typical full tank of gas? Depending on what you drive, it’s as little as P1,500 to double that for SUVs. According to Nissan PH, based on prevailing Meralco rates a Leaf costs about P360 to fully charge. That’s good for a claimed 311km of range. If you charge at home it will take 15-18 hours. But if you find one of the chargers Nissan PH has installed in its dealers—seven chargers are planned this year—you can charge for free and it will only take one hour.
If you happen to live near a dealer with a charger, you can theoretically have zero battery expenses. And since we don’t expect these things to fly off the dealer showrooms just yet, you probably don’t have to wait in line to charge your Leaf.
2) It’s more affordable to maintain.
Remember that the Leaf does not have an internal combustion engine. There are no oil, belts, and fluids to replace or replenish. Once the warranty has expired, Nissan PH says expect the twice-a-year PMS to cost roughly 25% less than a gasoline-powered car. And speaking of warranties...
3) It has a decent basic warranty, and a much longer warranty for the battery.
When driving an EV you have range anxiety, which is the fear of running out of power while on the road, and there’s battery anxiety, which is the fear of the battery giving out on you. We don’t have an exact price yet, but these batteries aren’t cheap. Nissan PH assauges the latter concern by offering an 8-year, 160,000km warranty on the battery. For the regular warranty, Nissan PH offers three years or 100,000km, which is still not bad.
4) The Leaf can act as a backup power bank for your home.
You might already know this interesting fact: Leafs not only draw power from your house, they can also give back. A special electrical setup must be installed for this process to be fully utilized, but in other countries when disaster struck, Nissan Leafs have been used as emergency power. One Leaf can power a typical home for three to four days, says Nissan. This could be useful for provinces that are always badly hit by typhoons. And no, water and flood will not compromise the Leaf easily. These things have been tested thoroughly.
5) It clearly needs more support from the government.
An EV revolution is coming, but for now the Leaf has the cards stacked against it. First and foremost is the high sticker price. The removal of the excise tax through the TRAIN law isn’t enough. P2.798-M is too high for typical motorists to spend on a five-seater hatchback. It needs even less taxes and more incentives to gain traction here. We’re already catch-up to developed countries when it comes to electric vehicles. We need all the help we can get, and carmakers can’t do it alone.
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