Since the Nissan Leaf was first introduced several years ago, it has become the top-selling electric vehicle (EV) in the world—over 400,000 units have been sold globally across 51 different markets, bagging a total of 111 awards. The Philippine market, however, has yet to see the official arrival of this Japanese mOrel.
Filipinos were finally able to get a firsthand look at the Leaf during last year’s Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit (PEVS). In this year’s summit, the EV—albeit still in right-hand-drive spec—was once again on display for the public to see.
But the question remains: When will Nissan finally launch the Leaf in the Philippines? Fortunately, Nissan Philippines invited us to a roundtable discussion this morning to share with us some updates on where the Leaf is at right now. Answering our inquiries and providing their insights during the session were Yutaka Sanada, Nissan regional senior vice president and head of Asia and Oceania operations; Atsushi Najima, Nissan Philippines president and managing director; and Lavanya Wadgaonka, vice president of communications for Nissan Asia and Oceania.
As we’ve been previously told, the Leaf is set to be launched locally in 2020—but no exact date was given. Unfortunately, when we asked Najima, he still wasn’t able to give us a target month—or a quarter, even. He added that the company has yet to determine where the Leaf will be sourced, which is one of the reasons why even just a price estimate has yet to be announced.
Nevertheless, Sanada still remains optimistic, saying that he believes the Philippines is ready for the arrival of electric vehicles like the Leaf. He says that Nissan will consider setting up a manufacturing plant in the ASEAN region if its EV turns out to be a success here in the country—he even says building that plant in the Philippines also isn’t impossible.
In the meantime, as the government formulates its policies to properly regulate electric vehicles in the country, Nissan continues to test the Leaf further in local driving conditions to ensure that all customer needs are met. We, on the other hand, can only sit tight and wait.
Are you looking forward to seeing the Leaf on Philippine roads? Sound off in the comments.