Automotive Nissan Leaf EV

Published on October 27th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle Finds 100 Owners In Malaysia

We think there should be much more Leaf buyers

Since its launch in July last year, the full battery powered Nissan Leaf has found slightly more than 100 owners in Malaysia, of which only 10 of them have subscribed to the Nissan Leaf subscription program. 

This fully-imported from Japan Nissan Leaf retails from RM188,888 (for Peninsular Malaysia, on-the-road price with 10% sales tax, without insurance and valid for private individual registration), with a three years/60,000km maintenance service, three years/100,000km vehicle warranty and eight years/160,000 lithium-ion battery warranty.

Also, there’s a “subscription programme” for owners – a three-year-contract with a RM3,500-a-month instalment (Peninsular Malaysia only, without insurance and valid for private individual registration).

BHP Banner

With instant acceleration from 320Nm of torque and a 01-00km/h possible time of 7.9 seconds, this is probably the best value electric vehicle (EV) for Malaysians looking to enjoy total green motoring. 

With a full battery charge (remember, this is a full battery powered vehicle with NO petrol engine) this Nissan leaf will provide its driver with about 270km of range if driven ‘without excitement’. The real world range in our hands will be around 200km which is still pretty good as a daily urban commuter vehicle. 

You will need to use a 50kW fast battery charger to get this Nissan Leaf fully charged in about 50 minutes and this is only in selected locations. Buyers of this new Nissan Leaf should get a membership with GreenTech Malaysia’s ChargeEV which has 300 plus charging points in 198 locations around the country and it costs just RM240.00 a year to be a member. Now it must be noted that these battery charges around the country are 3.7kW, 7.4kW and also 22kW units which means you will need much more than 50 minutes to charge up the battery pack in your Nissan Leaf.

So, why is there only 100 or so Nissan Leaf owners in Malaysia after more than 15 months of being on sale when there are more than 70 ready buyers for the Porsche Taycan EV that is priced from RM725,000 after just a week of its Malaysian launch?

Nissan Leaf 2003 model sitting idle

Well, the electric vehicle buyer in Malaysia comes from the upper middle class segment. The rich! These are mostly Malaysians with 4 or more cars in their garage. There are only a handful of single or double cars owners who own an EV.

Remember the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The small city battery powered car that was launched at RM136,118.50 in March 2013. It had a claimed range of 150 kilometers and Mitsubishi Malaysia provided a 5-year warranty and free service of up to 100,000km. Its road tax was the lowest allowed for any car at the time which was just RM10.00 per year. Only a handful were sold and are still running occasionally around Klang Valley.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV EV_2013

Then there was the first generation Nissan Leaf which was launched in November 2013 with a lot of publicity and hype due to its possible 195km range and RM168,000 price tag. At the time Nissan brand guardian, Tan Chong invested in 15 public battery charging points from Johor Bahru to Penang island with no fee to charge at all (charging time was estimated at 4-8 hours). Even this offer did not spur Malaysians, middle class and also the rich to take ownership. 

Nissan Leaf 2013

Now with this 2nd generation Nissan Leaf we are seeing a slowdown in its sales and a quick uptake of trendy premium electric vehicles. The recent Mini Cooper SE EV launch in August 2020 for RM218,000 showed how Malaysian EV buyers were looking for style more than fuel saving. All 26 units of the first batch of Mini EV’s were sold in on less than one month and there is an increased interest in it. This MINI Electric is fitted with a 12-module T-shaped battery pack with a capacity of 28.9 kWh, which provides a driving range of 234km to 270km, depending on which testing cycle you choose to believe.

Mini Cooper SE EV

So, why did 26 Malaysians buy the smaller sized Mini Cooper SE EV at RM218k instead of the larger more spacious 5-door Nissan Leaf EV at RM188k and save RM40,000? Brand image and prestige!

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