Nissan Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) and zero emissions motoring in our market, and is calling upon the government to back the initiative.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the local launch of the updated 2017 X-Trail range, Richard Emery, managing director and CEO of the company's local arm, said: "Zero emissions is certainly a driver of our business globally. Australia is no different in terms of us driving towards zero emissions".
"We see Nissan wanting, wishing, desiring to play a role in Australia in terms of driving customer preference towards low-emission and zero-emission vehicles."
"There’s products coming in the next few years that we’re keen to have in the market. We think we’re a market leader, we were here with the Leaf very early, [and] we want to stay a player in that for sure," he added.
Above and Top: Nissan Leaf
However, the Australian government's lack of support for EV infrastructure like public charging points presents a roadblock for numerous manufacturers wanting to offer electric and electrified models, while also contributing to the public's 'range anxiety' when it comes to driving EVs over longer distances.
Emery said authorities need to commit to implementing the relevant infrastructure if they are serious about reducing carbon emissions caused by conventional combustion-engined vehicles.
"It’s still a slow burn (EV). I still remain convinced that the government need to take more steps to encourage people to make that as a choice," he said. "There’s only so much the manufacturers can do."
"If the government is truly committed to CO2 reductions, then maybe they have a different look at how they approach to electric cars and hybrids, in terms of taxation revenue and other matters that they can act on," he added.
Above: Nissan IDS concept
Nissan Australia has already confirmed the next-generation Leaf will be sold here, and should arrive in the next couple of years.
The other "products coming in the next few years" could include electrified versions of the company's core range, such as the rumoured Juke e-Power concept that is expected to debut at the Tokyo motor show later this year.