Nissan's ambitious plans to build and sell its 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car around the world will not include populous India, at least not initially.
According to Indian Autos Blog, the CEO and managing director of Nissan Motors India said the company had no plans to introduce the Leaf to the Indian market.
With India being one of the world's two largest growth markets for cars, this might seem illogical. But in fact, unlike Europe and the U.S., India offers no tax incentives for purchase of electric vehicles.
Indian carbuyers also have much lower incomes, leading to such vehicles as the Tata Nano, the "world's cheapest car," at roughly $2,500. The Leaf may cost as much as $40,000 initially, far out of range of all but the richest Indians.
Nissan India apparently surveyed the market for EVs in India, and the results seemingly didn't support a decision to launch the Leaf there, at least in the short term.
Instead, Nissan will focus on vehicles with conventional gasoline and diesel engines for Indian consumers.
Five of the nine models it expects to sell there in 2012 will be built in India, and it will export vehicles from low-cost Indian plants to dozens of other countries.
So far, though, Nissan is far from building electric cars in India, unlike its aggressive plans to spread Leaf factories around the world in all the major markets where will sell battery-powered vehicles.
Nissan plans to build the 2011 Leaf--and the lithium-ion cells for its battery pack--in Japan; in Smyrna, Tennessee, for which it received $1.6 billion in DoE loans; and in Sunderland, U.K.