Nissan wants to take advantage of the US electric vehicle tax credit

TOKYO– Nissan will more aggressively push electric vehicles to take advantage of a new U.S. law that grants up to $7,500 in tax credits, the Japanese automaker said Friday.

President Joe Biden signed into law the landmark climate change and health care bill last month. The tax credit can be used to cover the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle made in the United States.

The Nissan Leaf electric car is among the eligible models, but, by law, vehicles must contain a battery made in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent to be eligible.

Sustainability director Joji Tagawa acknowledged that the qualification process was complex, but stressed that Nissan was eager to take advantage of the law to cut costs for the customer.

“We’re doing a thorough analysis right now,” he told reporters in an online briefing, noting that details of what Nissan might do were still undecided.

Tesla models, as well as the Ford F Series electric pickup, the BMW X5 and the plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler are among the models that will be able to benefit from the tax credits.

Nissan Motor Co., allied with French automaker Renault, was among the first to bet on zero-emission all-electric vehicles with the Leaf, which went on sale in 2010. More than 600,000 Leaf electric cars have been sold in the world to date.

Major automakers around the world recently announced investments to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles amid growing concerns about climate change and fuel prices.

Nissan said it was trying to make its operations and products cleaner, safer and more inclusive, looking at supply, production and sales, as well as its lineup. The company, based in Yokohama, Japan, will work with alliance partners and governments to achieve these goals, Tagawa said.

Nissan’s brand image was tarnished when Carlos Ghosn, a star executive for two decades at Nissan, was arrested in Japan in 2018 for underreporting his pay and embezzling company money. Ghosn skipped bail in December 2019 and now lives in Lebanon. He says he is innocent and has been unfairly targeted by some at Nissan who are worried Renault is gaining influence.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter