No sale date yet for Nissan’s Leaf electric car in China

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 16, 2010

Since the national specifications for battery charging facilities in China have yet to be determined, Nissan Motor Co. still cannot say when its Leaf electric car will start selling in the country, according to Nissan’s China chief Yasuaki Hashimoto. Analysts say that China's relatively new green car business would be the next fiercely competitive segment.

Nissan, which is well-positioned in this contest, is scheduled to jointly promote the Leaf next year with the city government of Wuhan in central China.

This is where Nissan’s manufacturing venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co. is located. General Motors Co. has pledged that it will start selling its Chevrolet Volt in China next year.

However, Nissan declined to set a debut date for the Leaf in China, saying that it is “totally up to the setting of the infrastructure first.” Hashimoto said that the “biggest issue” currently is centered on the charging stations and the fact that the charging systems have yet to be standardized.

He said that Nissan is unable to start the mass market if there are no standards set. Hashimoto said that the critical factors that influence its decision to introduce the Leaf in China include market acceptance and demand.

He added that potential buyers will get the opportunity to get closer to the Leaf with the launching of the Leaf initiative in Wuhan next year. [via autonews - sub. required]

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