| Yutaka Sanada, Regional Vice President, Nissan Asia & Oceania |
AS WE enter 2019, many of us are reflecting on what the year holds for us and how we can make it better than the last.
The positive changes we intend can be personal or much broader taking holistic view on changes to better society.
I have personal goals of course, but as Regional Vice President for Asia & Oceania at Nissan, my keen interest is to promote safe, smart and sustainability mobility across Asia and Oceania through electrification. My one wish in 2019 – the new car buyer considers purchasing an electrified vehicle.
While it may sound self-serving as a representative of a major automotive manufacturer, in the face of Asia’s urbanisation, the move towards electrification is one of a greater good.
Asia’s development leapfrogs the rest of the world. Cities in the region continue to experience unprecedented growth with virtually half of all the region’s population living in urbanised locations as of 2018. As a result, city dwellers face challenges related to mobility and infrastructure, including crippling congestion as well as choking air pollution among others. In Asian cities, this translates into a dizzying haze, where evidence exists that our pedestrians are exposed to fine particle levels up to 1.6 times higher than those of our European and American counterparts. The result is about 88 per cent of premature deaths attributed to air pollution across low- and middle-income Asia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
With more cars on the roads, noise pollution is also of a growing concern to urbanites wellbeing. WHO states the long-term average exposure to levels above 53 dB, similar to the noise from a busy street, can trigger elevated blood pressure, coronary artery disease and heart attacks – in cities like Bangkok, the usual noise level recorded daily is 73 dB.
Electric vehicles offer a promising solution to the environmental issues that plague Asia and Oceania. Virtually silent in operation, according to global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, “a typical mid-size electric vehicle can generate up to 67 per cent lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than a gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) car, on a well-to-wheel basis (factoring in production and driving of EVs)”.
It’s with these positive figures, I’m proud that Nissan is part of the pioneering front to electrify mobility across Asia and Oceania. Along with other sectors last year, Nissan also took action towards electrifying mobility in Asia and Oceania in 2018 through a host of thought leadership activities, strategic partnerships, industry associations and namely, the announcement to launch the new Nissan LEAF in seven regional markets – Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. Since its 2010 launch, Nissan LEAFs have travelled more than five billion zero-emission kilometres across the globe.
In addition to Nissan’s work in this field, 2018 proved another year whereby major actors, recognising the challenges of Asia’s future, have publicly and solidly demonstrated their support towards sustainable energy and the electrification of transportation.
Virtually every government across Asia has issued a public policy for electric vehicles – which has translated into a host of initiatives from electric bus production in Myanmar to large-scale tax benefits for purchasers of electric vehicles in Korea.