Nissan asks gov’t to cut import duties on electric vehicles


NISSAN Philippines, Inc. is asking the government to reduce the import duties on electric vehicles by 5-10 percentage points after it launched its Nissan Leaf for sale to the local market, the company said.

Electric vehicle (EV) Nissan Leaf was introduced in the Philippines over the weekend.

Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director Atsushi Najima said that the company is hoping the government would reduce import duties from the current 30% rate. A total removal of duties would be “great,” he added, but not necessary.

“If we can reduce like even 5% or 10% it’s a great help for us because [if] we can reduce this difference — 30 minus 5 or 30 minus 10 — [with] this difference, I can reduce the price,” he said in a press briefing on Monday.

“I’m 100% sure this will help the acceleration of EV adoption in the Philippines.”

Reduced duties, he said, would translate into lower prices. The Nissan Leaf is being sold at almost P2.8 million per unit.

The automaker is also asking the government to offer incentives for charging station infrastructure development. A fully charged Nissan Leaf would be able to travel up to 311 kilometers without recharging, prompting Mr. Najima to promote the creation of charging stations for travelers going outside Metro Manila.

“If we have a charging station in the north, let’s say Baguio, or south — Batangas — then we don’t have to go much further,” Mr. Najima said.

The company has three charging stations, and it plans to roll out four more in the next few months.

Nissan has two target markets for the vehicle: the tech-savvy and environment-conscious buyers.

“We don’t have a specific target for the sales especially for Nissan Leaf. This is the early stage of EV adoption in the country. It’s a little bit difficult to forecast how much sales we can make,” Mr. Najima said.

“If regulation changes, [the] EV market will change completely.”

Reports said that Nissan Motor Co. is cutting some production at plans in Japan, United Kingdom, and Mexico due to a global semiconductor shortage. But Mr. Najima said that this has little effect on supply to the Philippines so far.

“We are also facing semiconductor supply challenges. As of now, we don’t see so much effect in the Philippines,” he said. “We continue to supply to our dealerships as well as customers, therefore not so much impact but unfortunately, we need to continue to monitor [the] microchip supply status for Nissan as well.” — Jenina P. Ibanez

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