On Thursday, January 10, at the Singapore Motorshow, Japanese automobile brand Nissan Motor announced big plans – it will be the first car manufacturer to release a full electrified series of cars by 2022 in Singapore, promising seven brand new models of fully battery-powered or hybrid vehicles.
At the Singapore Motorshow, a total of 140 cars from 31 brands were showcased, with 25 official launches and unveilings.
It was the electric models that stole the show, however, with six shiny new zero-emission models on display. Besides the new Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Jaguar I-Pace were launched. The Kona Electric and the I-Pace both boast of a driving range of 400km or more.
Another media source reported that Ron Lim, head of sales and marketing at Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, spoke of the exciting programme Nissan is revealing and the seven electrified models that will soon hit the streets in Singapore.
Heading the charge is the first of the seven electrified cars, the battery-powered Nissan Leaf, which has a range of at least 250km. The Leaf, which has an expected price tag that will fall below $150,000, took centre stage and was officially launched at the motor show at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
At the show, private-hire companies and taxi operators were also there doing their shopping.
Ride-hailing giant Grab announced that it had bought 200 Kona Electric cars, confirming Friday, January 11 as their official first day on the road. Grab will release 20 cars first and move up from there.
Renting the battery-powered car will cost you $80 per day, which is comparable to similar petrol models. Grab’s drivers will receive a 30 percent discount on electricity charges at any SP Group charging station.
Taxi operator ComfortDelGro was more cautious, adding two Kona Electric cars to its fleet of taxis. They began a trial for electrified cars in July 2018.
Despite all this exciting news, there is uncertainty in the air. Glenn Tan of Singapore Motor Traders Association said the supply of certificates of entitlement (COEs) is most likely going to decrease by around 10 percent in 2019, although there will probably not be big changes in pricing.
New Indonesian private-hire firm Go-Jek, which has been hailed a “wild card”, is generating a lot of buzz and a huge demand for cars, not unlike Uber.
Tan said that “if Go-Jek does not go crazy”, all should be well on the horizon.