The future of China’s auto market is deemed to be electric and the Nissan – Renault Alliance is looking to harness a sizeable chunk of this section with a low cost electric vehicle. As recent reports suggest, the company is planning to roll out an affordable and compact electric car specifically for China, which will be based on the Renault Kwid. Without divulging too many details, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said that the idea is to design a compact car in the first class segment for urban dwellers that don’t travel long distances. The Renault Kwid electric car will be targeted largely at cities like Beijing and Shanghai and could go on sale as early as 2018. By using a common platform, the alliance plans tremendous cost savings for the alliance, while production will be outsourced to Nissan- Renault’s Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor. While Nissan will have its own iteration of the Kwid based electric vehicle, Renault will introduce the Kwid EV in the Chinese market. Furthermore, Mitsubishi is also likely to get entrance to the low-cost platform and could spawn its own iteration of the compact electric car.
The report further suggests that Nissan’s upcoming compact EV is likely to be priced around 1.5 million yen (around Rs.8.50 lakh), and is almost half the cost of the Nissan Leaf. With the substantial amount of subsidies given for electric cars in China, the market has turned tremendously viable for EV makers and more mainstream manufacturers are planning to tap this growing potential. Japanese carmakers though have been slow in realizing the growth and Nissan becomes the first of many to make such a prominent announcement. In addition, Honda is also likely to present its EV next year in China, while Toyota is looking to locally production one there. However, an affordable EV remains a first. While the Kwid based EV is sometime away, Nissan is currently looking forward to introduce the next generation Leaf on 9th September 2017. The model has already been teased and will be a complete leap in terms of technology, comfort, and range. The new Leaf will also go on sale in sale in China as Nissan’s premium EV offering, while the model is also likely to make its way to India.