Nissan’s sleek Ariya electric SUV is still no closer to a specific launch date for the Australian market, held up once again – as with many EVs and cleaner combustion engines – by politics and demand.
This isn’t the first time Australia’s emissions standards have influenced what Nissan’s future product lineup might look like locally. Earlier this year, Wheels reported that the Ariya EV is facing delays for similar reasons.
Nissan will introduce its second full-electric vehicle to the Australian market with the new Ariya crossover chalked for launch as soon as global production allows, joining its smaller Leaf sibling in local showrooms.
The all-new model was rolled out first in Japan around the middle of 2021, followed by Europe and the US late in the year.
It was hoped that the Ariya, which is Nissan’s second dedicated EV after the Leaf, would arrive locally this year to take on the likes of the Tesla Model Y and Polestar 2.
However, local production delays due to the semiconductor shortage, and Australia’s position as a lower-priority market for EVs, means the Ariya’s arrival timing has blown out until at least 2023.
“We want to get the car here as soon as soon as we can. We’re very interested in it. We’re screaming and shouting for it, and global realises that,” Nissan Australia’s Managing Director, Adam Paterson, told Wheels.
“But I think they’re making allocation decisions as to where those cars go based on regulatory requirements. And right now we don’t have any regulatory requirements to allow us to have it here.
“In New Zealand the discussion there is quite different, because some of the regulations that have come in quite recently where, you know, there is going to be a requirement to have your fleet average CO2 at X and the credits that are offered to zero-emission vehicles – especially ones of a higher weight or larger size – are more substantial. So that’s something that we have to look at quite quickly.