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Nissan picks EV charger supplier Delta for Leaf's Thai debut

Automaker sees fast charging as crucial for electrics to win over Bangkok drivers

Nissan has partnered with Delta Electronics (Thailand) to provide fast home chargers for Leaf electric cars.   ¬© Reuters

BANGKOK -- Nissan Motor, the first carmaker to sell fully electric vehicles in Thailand, has chosen local manufacturer Delta Electronics (Thailand) as its sole supplier of home chargers in the country.

The move aims at a win-win collaboration, as fast chargers will make owning a Nissan Leaf electric car more practical for Thais, while boosting Bangkok-listed Delta's sales at a time when the Thai government is promoting the use of electrics.

The chief executives of Nissan's Thai unit and Delta signed a supply agreement on Tuesday for chargers for Nissan's Leaf electric vehicle, which the Japanese automaker will start local deliveries of in May.

"Nissan Motor Thailand is committed to helping drive an electric vehicle ecosystem in Thailand for the benefit of our customers," said Ramesh Narasimhan, the company's president, in a statement. "This is an important first step in Thailand, for Nissan to build electrification infrastructure to support lowering carbon emissions."

According to Nissan, buyers who pay 1.99 million baht ($62,300) for a Nissan Leaf will receive a free portable charger.

But this charger requires up to 10 to 12 hours for a full charge. The length of time could make busy urban Thais think twice about buying an electric car.

In contrast, Delta's charger shortens the charging time to five to six hours, making electric vehicles more compatible with urban life in Bangkok, where owners would need to charge their cars at night to drive to work the next day.

Delta's home charger will cost an additional 45,000 baht, including installing fees, according to Nissan.

The Thai manufacturer, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Apple supplier Delta Electronics, is also in talks on charger supply deals with Japanese and European automakers, according to President Hsieh Shen-yen.

"We leverage our core competencies in power conversion and management to develop and install world-class charging solutions for the global EV community, and now in Thailand," Hsieh said.

Both Nissan and Delta declined to provide sales targets for the Leaf and Delta chargers. 

However, a statement in November 2018, when Nissan announced the Thai release of the Leaf, said the company expected to sell 300 to 500 of the cars in Thailand this year. Nissan calls the Leaf the world's best-selling electric vehicle, with more than 400,000 units sold worldwide.

Thailand's government has set a goal of having 1.2 million electric vehicles on the road by 2036.

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