New Nissan Leaf launches as Kiwi subsidy is announced
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It was apt that Nissan New Zealand revealed its all-electric Leaf hatchback yesterday – the day the Government announced its plans to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Nissan was the first car manufacturer to launch an EV for the public in 2010 and is world leader with 420,000 Leafs (that’s the plural of the Leaf) sold since then in 51 markets.
The second generation Leaf has been on sale in Europe and the USA for nearly a year but it heads to New Zealand’s Nissan dealership mid-August. It is priced from $59,990 with a range of 270km thanks to a 40kWh battery producing 110kW and 320Nm, plus zero emission.
So the announcement of plans for a cleaner emission fleet from the Government yesterday was perfect timing for Nissan NZ’s managing director, John Manley, as he attended the Australasian launch in Melbourne.
He said that nearly 300 Nissan NZ staff would be trained about the Leaf; from technicians, to sales, to service.
“They are not selling a car, but selling a lifestyle,” Manley told Driven in Melbourne.
He said the “Government’s statement (on lower emissions) is positive”.
According to data from NZ Transport, there are more than 3.2 million petrol cars on New Zealand's roads. That compares to almost 15,000 electric vehicles in New Zealand.
Manley said he had 110 Leaf hatchbacks arriving in New Zealand in the next shipments, with already interest from the public.
Nissan NZ sold the first generation Leaf as new in 2012 but was ahead of its time and by 2014 stopped selling the first generation Leaf.
Since then, there has been a huge influx of imported Leafs from the UK and Japan, and for Manley that means he has a huge amount of data from Leaf owners of how their vehicles perform here.
And worldwide, having the first EV hatchback means Nissan has vast experience in battery and cell technology.
The company has found that its battery is outlasting the Leaf hatchback itself and it now recycling 98 per cent of the battery.
* Read our review of the performance of the Nissan Leaf when the embargo lifts this Friday.