The production of Nissan’s first electric sedan designed for China began on Monday August 27th at the start of a promised wave of planned lower-cost electrics being created by global automakers for their biggest markets.
As reported by AP, manufacturers including General Motors and Volkswagen are poised this year to launch a flood of electric cars, minivans and SUVs in China designed for local tastes and smaller budgets.
Electric cars are seen by the Chinese government as a promising industry and a way to clean up its smog-choked cities.
The Sylphy Zero Emission, based on Nissan's Leaf, is being produced by Nissan Motor Co. and a Chinese partner, Dongfeng Motor group. The Sylphy costs 166,000 yuan ($25,850) after government subsidies, or just over half the sticker price of the Chinese version of the Leaf sold by Nissan and Dongfeng's joint venture Venucia brand. Nissan says the Sylphy can go 338 kilometers (210 miles) on a single charge.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said, “We are confident that the Sylphy Zero Emission rolling off the production line today will become a main player in the EV market. We are going to roll out a range of EVs that will appeal to customers within all market segments.”
China accounted for half of all global electric car sales last year, but almost all of those came from Chinese brands including BYD Auto and BAIC Group. Their prices start as low as 140,000 yuan ($22,000).
Government plans call for total annual sales of 2 million electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles by 2020, up from last year's 770,000.