Nissan ready to start testing Leaf EV in Thailand

2013 Nissan Leaf
2013 Nissan Leaf
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Nissan figures there's a market for the Nissan Leaf in Thailand. Or, at the very least, a chance to test the world's most popular passenger electric car in Bangkok. The global automaker has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority in Bangkok to start the test. Step one? Infrastructure. That's got to be a relief to the few people who have purchased a Leaf in Thailand.

Our friends at Plug In Cars talked to Paul Blokland, director at Segment Y, a Bangkok-based consultancy, who said Bangkok is a bad fit for EVs. It's too hot, so AC is pretty much required, and drivers often need to go too far. Blokland said only four Leafs have been sold in Thailand, all in 2012, but that hybrids are relatively popular in the Asian country.

Last month, Nissan started selling a version of the Navara (known here as the Frontier) pickup truck with a compressed natural gas (CNG) powertrain. For more on the green-car industry in Thailand, read this. The industry is growing, and Nissan said earlier this year it will open a new proving ground next to its production facility in Samut Prakan.

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