Japan’s leading carmakers are reportedly entering the extremely competitive market of electric vehicles in China. However, experts suggest that it might take them a long time before they can make a mark in the region.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., the second largest automaker in Japan, recently launched its first battery electric SUV, Ariya, in China earlier this month.
The crossover, with a length of 4.6 meters, and a wheelbase of 2.7 meters, comes in two versions, one that features a single electric motor, and another that incorporates dual electric motors. The vehicle boasts of a maximum output of 178kW and a top torque of 600 Nm. The vehicle’s range has been reported at 623 kilometers in a single charge, as per the China Light-duty Vehicle Test Cycle.
Ariya’s launch in China comes at a time where the market is witnessing heavy crowds and elevated competition among Chinese automakers and American EV giant, Tesla, which has been present in the market for a while now.
Many German firms are also scaling their EV portfolios in the country, along with other American car firms like Ford and General Motors. Japanese firms are the latest among major carmakers to join the race.
Honda was also one of the first three Japanese automakers to make the move, launching its first model based on its platform in June in the country.
Toyota is also set to launch its volume electric model, bZ4X, in China which has been co-developed with Subaru. The car’s launch was earlier postponed due to issues with its wheels.
Having a higher preference for hybrid technology, which they consider to be more efficient, Japanese carmakers have been reluctant to shift their focus when EVs started to gain popularity in Chinas.
Analysts believe that it will now be more difficult for new players to penetrate the region, with the market being full of competitors.
Local Chinese automobile firms are moving swiftly to further consolidate their competitive edge in the market, which can be primarily chalked up to their advantage of being first-movers and the higher acceptance of new technologies among Chinese customers.
In August, BYD, one of the major NEV makers in the country, sold over 80,000 EVs, while another major EV maker, GAC Aion saw over 150,000 units sold in the first eight months of this year.