When Nissan Philippines announced the Leaf EV, we were excited. We knew the Leaf had a lot of potential because it’s a BEV that drives very well, has good range, and has a nice array of features including the ability to power devices in an emergency if you have the right equipment.
But when they did finally launch it, all that hype and excitement went away. The reason is the pricing: PHP 2.78 million.
Even we were shocked. For the longest time, we’ve been informed by insiders that they will have competitive pricing for the Leaf in the region of about PHP 2 million. We were told it wasn’t supposed to be a profit game; yes, they have to make money on it, but the real reason it’s so expensive is because of the factors like exchange rates, shipping from the UK (yes, like the FK8), and many more.
The major factor, however, has to be the tariff. Under the TRAIN law, yes EVs already have a 100% exemption, but that is for excise tax. The other major tax is the tariff, and that is 30% for the Leaf because it’s being imported from the UK; that means it doesn’t qualify for any special free trade agreements. The FTA is the reason why the Kicks E-Power is so attractive to customers; it’s made in Thailand and is qualified for the provisions of the ASEAN free trade area.
That tariff is about to change. Since President Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order 12, the tariff on electric vehicles will drop from 30% to 0% for the next five years. And that means the single biggest cause of the price jack-up of the Leaf EV will be gone.
Nissan hasn’t made an official announcement yet about the new price of the Leaf, but we’re very sure they are busily recomputing now. Most likely they will announce it on Friday, January 27 during another event they have with us in the press.
My guess (and hopefully it's an educated one) is that they will finally drop it to the original target of around PHP 2 million. At that price point, it will start to make more practical sense for more people to explore full electric motoring in the city instead of just looking at it as a novelty.
That also means that car companies that launched EVs in the Philippines (BMW, Audi, Porsche, etc.) are going to be recomputing their SRPs too for incoming units based on EO 12. As to what those prices are, we'll find out soon enough.