Nissan is launching a new car-sharing service with two-seater electric vehicles aimed only at city-driving. After several trials over the past 4 years, they are now starting a new program in the City of Yokohama in Japan for the next two years with a fleet of 25 vehicles.
They are using the ‘Nissan New Mobility Concept’, which is sold as the ‘Twizy’ by Renault, Nissan’s partner.
While it has limited safety features, the 500 kg (1,100 lbs) all-electric vehicle is road-legal. It has a top speed of approximately 80 km/h (~50 mph) and a range of about 100 km (~62 miles).
It doesn’t offer a lot of capacity, but Nissan is betting that it will “encourage low-emission transport options, improve the quality of transportation and promote tourism”.
Here’s a closer look at the “car”:
Previous trials only offered one-way car service, but the new program offers round-trip service and also includes guided tours around central Yokohama and long-term car rentals for businesses.
It’s a public-private partnership with the City of Yokohama and Nissan, which could serve as a framework for future programs.
Nissan says that the service costs 250 yen ($2.22 USD) per 15 minutes plus a 200 yen ($1.78 USD) basic charge, with a maximum daily charge of 3,000 yen ($26.64 USD).
Users only need a valid driver’s license, a smartphone to access the website and a credit card. They can reserve the vehicles 30 minutes in advance.
Nissan, just like most automakers, is currently investing in several different efforts in the car-sharing industry, which is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The Japanese automaker focuses on making electric vehicles available under those services and eventually autonomous electric vehicles.
Last month, the Renault-Nissan Alliance announced plans for a self-driving electric car fleet for public and on-demand transportation.
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