In 2019 Nissan Philippines boldly claimed that it would herald the start of the Philippine EV age by officially announcing that its Leaf will be launched here. A global pandemic delayed that plan a bit, but here we are finally.
Like in any emerging market, electric vehicles in the Philippines have suffered from a chicken-and-egg dilemma. Car brands were reluctant to bring in EVs because there were no chargers and due to low market interest. No company wanted to invest in building a charging network because there were no electric cars. Who will make the first move?
To help address the issue of charging, Nissan PH will install seven charging stations in the country through its dealerships. The Leaf can also be fully charged through a typical home outlet, just be ready to charge it for 15-18 hours. If you go to a dedicated charging station like the one found in dealerships, a full charge only takes 40-60 minutes.
Nissan PH didn’t scrimp on the features. The Leaf will get Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Around View Monitor, High Beam Assist, and Hill Start Assist. There’s also Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Intelligent Trace Control.
The Leaf will retail for P2,798,000, and will only be sold by three Nissan dealers for now: Nissan Mantrade Makati, Nissan Otis, and, representing the South, Nissan Cebu South. To recap the numbers, the Leaf has a range of 311km, has a top speed of 140kph, and goes from zero to 100kph in 7.9sec (not bad).
Even with the help of the TRAIN law behind EVs, it’s clear from the Leaf’s SRP that that isn’t enough. At that price buyers might just opt for the racier 370Z or one of the small, economical diesel German cars.
We’ve already driven the Leaf, in two countries at that, and we’re glad the Philippines has finally entered the EV age. We hope the Leaf, and future EVs from other brands, get the support they deserve in the future. Because they are the future.