Nissan Motors remains undaunted by congressional efforts in the United States to remove federal tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles said head of Nissan’s operations in North America on Monday.
Nissan’s 2018 Leaf boasts a 40 per cent increase in battery range to around 240 km. The 2018 Leaf will start to hit dealerships around the world early in the new year with an asking price of around NZ$43,000.
But that’s before a $7,500 federal tax credit that has been a major selling point for buyers of the previous version of the Leaf or other electric vehicles from companies like Tesla or General Motors.
The tax credit could disappear if the House version of a federal tax overhaul bill prevails in negotiations with the Senate.
Jose Munoz, the chairman of Nissan North America, said that there is a “very clear, strong natural demand” for electric vehicles even without the incentives.
“Obviously we welcome support to the EV business,” Munoz said. “At the same time, we’ve built a very strong foundation because we are global leaders on electric vehicles.”
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance announced in September that it plans to produce 12 new electric models by 2022 and that electric cars will make up 30 percent of its overall output.
“We’re going to continue betting on this,” Munoz said.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said he expects sales of electric vehicles to continue to grow in the long term, though that pace could be slowed if the federal tax credit ends.
“It’s just a matter of how long it takes us to get to where the electric vehicle is the dominant method of propelling vehicles,” he said.