Japanese OEM is planning a budget EV for Bhutan and the prototype vehicle is already being tested in the country. Local business partner Thunder motors in Bhutan is jointly developing a budget EV for emerging markets like Bhutan and India.
The new technology of budget EV is going to cost approximately half the cost of Nissan Leaf. Nissan Leaf is priced at $30000 (approx 18 lakh) without any subsidy. If the budget EV is priced at half of this price i.e. close to 9 lakh, the company may get this EV under Datsun brand. In case of Bhutan, as vehicle is being developed with local partner Thudner Motors, there is no any confirmation about the badging of the vehicle.
In India its only Mahindra Reva as of now which is being sold at Rs. 5,00,000 (ex showroom Mumbai) in EV market. When Mahindra is planning to launch Veriro EV in Bhutan to compete Nissan, the well established brand in India, Nissan, is also thinking of possibilities of bringing competition to Mahindra in India with budget EV. Govt policies for EV and hybrids is pulling back many manufacturers to bring in clean energy vehicles in India. Nissan does not have any plans to launch Bhutan developed budget EV in India this year. There is a high possibility of launch next year, so by 2016 we might see a small version of Nissan Leaf in India under 10 lakhs.
Bhutan government is heading to become zero emission nation with key strategies to support EVs and clean energy sources in automotive domains. As of now, Nissan will deliver Leaf EV to government fleet and Bhutan taxis. Govt of Bhutan is targetting its capital city Thimpu to become a clean-electric city where more than 100000 vehicles will be powered by clean energy. Due to lack of fossile fuels it has to import fossil fuels to run its current vehicle fleet.