Nissan LEAF earmarked for 2013 launch depending on market readiness

JOHANNESBURG (Thursday, 06 October 2011) – Nissan announced today its intention to launch the revolutionary 100% electric Nissan LEAF in South Africa in 2013.

Speaking at the Johannesburg International Motor Show where LEAF is on display, Nissan South Africa Managing Director, Mike Whitfield confirmed plans to bring the current World and European Car of the Year to the market as soon as conditions allow.

Since its launch in late 2010, the Nissan LEAF has been introduced to countries implementing the necessary charging infrastructure and government incentives to support the wide-spread take up of electric vehicles.

To date, the ground-breaking C-segment hatchback has been launched in Japan, the US and a growing number of European markets, resulting in more than 12,000 unit sales.

Following ongoing dialogue with the government, Nissan has now earmarked South Africa for a sales launch, potentially within the next two years, depending on market readiness.

Mike Whitfield said: “I am delighted to announce that we are intending to bring the Nissan LEAF to South Africa in 2013, subject to confirmation of government policy on charging infrastructure and customer incentives.

“This very special car is the world’s first mass-market EV, and has already brought affordable, practical and enjoyable zero-emission mobility to thousands of people.

“Although there is more work to do before we can confirm its launch in South Africa, doing so would underline both Nissan’s, and this country’s, commitment to delivering a more sustainable future for road transport.”

The Nissan LEAF’s advanced lithium-ion battery has a range of up to 160 km on a single charge (US LA4 Mode) and delivers a top speed of up to 145 kmph. The car is also competitive with conventional vehicles in terms of safety, spaciousness and handling.

Currently built at Nissan’s Oppama, Japan plant, Nissan LEAF will also be manufactured at the company’s Smyrna, Tenn., plant in the United States in late 2012 and at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom by early 2013.
Aiming to be the world leader in zero-emission vehicles, Nissan, with its Alliance partner, Renault, has formed partnerships with more than 90 governments, cities and other organizations around the world not only to develop and produce EV and lithium-ion batteries but also to promote sustainable mobility.