Nissan Leaf launched in Thailand, EV goes for RM252k

The Nissan Leaf has been launched in Thailand, unveiled at the ongoing Thailand International Motor Expo 2018. The second-generation electric car goes for 1.99 million baht (RM252,298) in the Land of Smiles and deliveries will begin from March 2019.

“In Asia and Oceania, we are planning to launch in seven markets, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, and these markets we will launch in parallel on top of Thailand,” said Yutaka Sanada, Nissan’s regional senior vice-president at the launch.

Locally, the Leaf was displayed at the recent KL International Motor Show (KLIMS) 2018, and we understand that the timeline for its Malaysian launch has been revised to sometime in the middle of 2019. As the EV is unlikely to be locally assembled, will it be competitively priced? That will depend on the upcoming National Automotive Policy (NAP) review by MITI.

Measuring in at 4,480 mm long, 1,790 mm wide and 1,540 mm tall, the new Leaf features significant gains in performance and range over the first-gen model, with the car’s EM57 electric motor now producing 38% more power and 26% more torque at 110 kW (148 hp) and 320 Nm respectively.

A 40 kWh lithium-ion battery increases the operating range to around 400 km (378 km on a NEDC test cycle) from the 195 km – and later, 250 km – of the original.

In terms of charging, the automaker quotes eight hours for a full charge drawing current from a six kW source, and double that time from a three kW source. There’s also quick charging, with up to 80% fill in 40 minutes via the CHAdeMO charging socket. The max AC charge rate is 6.6 kW, or 50 kW with DC quick charge.

Tech novelties include ProPILOT single-lane autonomous driving tech, which can automatically control the distance of the car to the vehicle in front using a speed preset by the driver (between 30 km/h and 100 km/h), while steering and keeping itself centered in its lane. It also does braking to a complete stop and resuming movement too, much like the low-speed follow function in Honda’s Sensing suite.

Aside from ProPILOT park, there’s also e-Pedal, which provides the simplicity of starting, accelerating, decelerating, stopping and holding the car in position by using the accelerator pedal alone.

The Leaf is equipped with six airbags (front, side and curtain) and a Nissan Safety Shield system, which includes intelligent lane intervention, lane departure warning, intelligent emergency braking, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent around view monitor and emergency assist for pedal misapplication.

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