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Nissan Targets Bhutan with Electric Leaf

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/22/2014 Edward A. Sanchez

For the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the sparsely-populated country exports the majority of its hydro-electric power to neighboring India, while importing almost all of its transportation fuel. With this energy equation as the backdrop, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn presented two Leaf electric vehicles to the Bhutanese government in commemoration of King Jigme Wangchuck's birthday.

Nissan Leaf Bhutan© Provided by MotorTrend Nissan Leaf Bhutan

The small mountain country only uses about five percent of the energy produced by its 27 hydro-electric powerplants, exporting the majority of its power to neighboring India. But Bhutan has a relatively modest per-person GDP of approximately $2400, making the prospect of purchasing the almost $30,000 2011 Chevrolet Volt Read more:" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Nissan Leaf a distant prospect for most of its citizens. Among its population of 700,000, there are only 44,678 registered vehicles. The country is reportedly considering exempting electric vehicles from taxes and allowing them to earn carbon credits.

Even Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who visited the mountainous nation, admitted the company is a long way from dominating the roads of Bhutan. "This is a very initial step," Ghosn said in a Bloomberg report. Everyday citizens showed interest in the idea of electric cars, but were more concerned about the cost than the hypothetical environmental benefit.

Other countries that have very EV-friendly policies include Tesla Kicks Off European Supercharger Network in Norway - Wide Open Throttle" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Norway, Denmark and the U.K. Even in electric-friendly Denmark, electric cars only accounted for 0.3 percent of total sales for 2013.

Source: Nissan, Bloomberg


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