Government Report: Nissan May Soon Build A LEAF EV In China
A recently released government statement out of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong says that Nissan is looking at bringing production of the all-electric LEAF (although likely called the Fengshen E30) to China next year.
Along with partner Dongfeng Motors, the report says that the duo may invest up to $322 million to make the project a reality.
This new investment would be Nissan’s 4th LEAF production facility around the world.
Original production began in Oppama, Japan in 2010, before branching out to the US, in Smyrna, TN earlier this year. Shortly, European manufacturing will begin in Sunderland, UK.
This new Chinese plant would see a similar manufacturing base to that of Nissan’s current plants in Japan and the UK. An initial production run would produce around 10,000 LEAFs in the 2014-2015 timeframe, with eventual production capacity at about 50,000 units thereafter.
Nissan’s US facility can produce up to 150,00 LEAFs in a calendar year if demand is present, although CEO Carlos Ghosn says the facility is not currently “tooled” to do so.
In their reporting on the Chinese-made LEAF based EV, Bloomberg News reached out to Sharon Shen, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Nissan, but she declined to comment on the situation at the moment.
As a country, China had ambitiously set a goal of selling 5 million electric vehicles by 2020. Unfortunately, at their current pace, China looks to be coming up a few million short on that goal…by about 4 million.
Given this reality, Industry Minister Miao Wei says China is currently reviewing its subsidy policy and may increase funding for hybrid vehicles and other fuel-efficient models in the future. Currently, only locally produced plug-in vehicles can qualify for the up to 60,000 yuan ($9,700 USD) rebate on purchases.