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As has been widely reported, India is soon going to turn into a huge market for electric cars. All global and domestic players are looking to launch electric vehicles across different segments in the country even as government plans to implement stricter emission norms by 2020. While South Korean carmaker Hyundai is soon going to launch an electric SUV in the Indian market, other manufacturers such as Nissan are also developing new electric cars for the country.
First in the line by Nissan will be the all-new Leaf hatchback that is to be rolled out in the Indian market later this year. Recently, the car was caught with "On Test” banner on the windshield. Nissan is planning to launch this new electric hatchback as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) in the country allowing the company to import the car as per the market demand. The test car was seen near the Mumbai-Pune expressway and what Nissan is possibly doing is testing the vehicle in Indian conditions.
Bear in mind that this Nissan Leaf is already being sold in various global markets and has gained reputation as one of the most popular electric vehicles. Coming to India, the car will not be a mass-segment product as electric cars are still not popular in the country.
Being a CBU product, the new car will attract high tax rate in India and thus is expected to be priced around Rs 40 lakh. To overcome this problem, Nissan would be launching a cheaper version of this car in the country devoid of various luxury features on offer in the international models. Even the car seen testing in India seems to be a very basic model. This may help the company reduce the cost of the car by a few lakhs.
The hatchback is expected to get an automatic climate control system and full-digital instrument cluster. In foreign market, Leaf also gets Advanced Driver Assistance System and ProPilor lane assistance system. Nissan also provides e-Pedal feature allowing the car to be controlled with a single pedal. It gets features such as traffic signal recognition, intelligent lane intervention, and emergency braking. The Indian version is not expected to get all these high-tech features.
The Leaf hatchback is powered by a 40-kWh battery that powers a 140 PS motor. It has been reported that the car travel up to 240 km on a single-charge that takes 8-16 hours to reach its optimum level. There is a quick charging option that can refill the battery to up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes.