Attended the launch of the ‘Journey To Zero Emission’ featuring the new Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV) on 3 May 2012 at the Nissan showroom in Section 13, Petaling Jaya.
The program was officially launched by Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry and demonstrates Tan Chong Motor’s support for the Malaysian government initiative to promote Green technology and ensure sustainable development. The initiative, outlined in the National Green Technology Policy announced by the Prime Minister in July 2009, aims to conserve the natural environment and resources as well as reduce the high emissions of carbon which is known to contribute to global warming.
Incentives have also been provided through the National Automotive Policy to those companies which promote hybrid, electric vehicles and development of related infrastructure and this results in a cheaper price for these vehicles for Malaysian consumers.
“Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) supports the green direction set by the Malaysian government and will assist the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water to achieve its goal of having 10% to 15% electric vehicle penetration in the market by 2020,” said Dato’ Dr. Ang Bon Beng, Executive Director of ETCM.
The Leaf is powered entirely by an electric motor, but apparently handles and performs like today’s conventional cars. It offers a comfortable interior space for five adults and delivers strong acceleration without generating any exhaust gases and pollutants. Quieter than most luxury cars, the LEAF supposedly has acceleration which is better than a car with a 3.5-litre petrol engine as maximum torque is available from the moment is moves off (unfortunately I didn’t stay to test-drive the car however I’m hoping to get my hands on one soon).
The cost per km of the Nissan LEAF is approximately 50% of a HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), and 25% of ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) thus saving you money on fuel as well as saving the environment!
Wanna buy one?
You can’t just yet as Dato’ Dr. Ang also clarified that the company is not selling the LEAF or any other EV model at this stage as the first step is to create better awareness of EVs and their benefits and also to get feedback of the vehicle in use in Malaysian conditions. This feedback will be shared with Nissan Motor so that when the LEAF is offered for sale in future, it will be fully compatible with local driving conditions and the requirements of Malaysian motorists.
Yes I wouldn’t want to be caught in one of KL’s famous traffic jams and run out of battery power so I think it’s a good idea that the LEAF is tested here first before it’s on sale.
Wanna chance to drive the Nissan Leaf?
The Nissan LEAF pilot program will be conducted mainly in the Klang Valley area which has the largest vehicle population and urban concentration in Malaysia. Look out for roadshows and other activities to promote greater awareness of the Nissan LEAF and Nissan’s EV technology. You also have an opportunity to test-drive the Nissan LEAF at selected locations to have a personal experience driving an EV.
Besides offering the LEAF for test-drives, ETCM will select few Malaysians to be LEAF Ambassadors who will ‘live’ with the EV for an extended period of up to two months. These ambassadors, representing a cross-section of Malaysians, will use the vehicle in their daily lives, share their experiences with their friends, and also provide valuable feedback to ETCM on the performance of the LEAF in Malaysian conditions. ETCM will provide each with a unit of the LEAF and install the necessary equipment at their homes for recharging the vehicle.
More info at www.nissan.com.my