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Nissan extends trial of ultra-compact EV sharing service in Yokohama for one year; publishes top-level data

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd and the City of Yokohama will extend the one-year trial run of the first large-scale One-way Car Sharing Service in Japan, called “Choimobi Yokohama,” for another year. (Earlier post.)

The service, which kicked off on 11 October 2013, features Nissan’s ultra-compact New Mobility Concept electric vehicles. The program's main objectives are to encourage low-carbon emission transport options, improve the quality of transportation in the city, and promote tourism. Nissan provided some top-level user data from the first year to illustrate the effectiveness of the service.

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The Nissan New Mobility Concept EV is powered by Li-ion batteries to a speed of up to 80 km/h (50 mph).

As of 15 September, 10,651 people had joined the service. The original plan called for 10,000 members. The service has 131 stations at 63 locations. Average one-time use lasted approximately 16 minutes. Average distance traveled was approximately 3 km (1.9 miles).

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Phase 2 of the car-sharing trial, which begins this October, will use the data collected from Phase 1. By further improving the cooperation between local businesses, shopping centers, and public transportation in and around Yokohama City, the Car Sharing Service aims to establish a free-standing business model that can be implemented in the near future.

In addition, using the real-life data collected from Phase 1, Nissan will undertake a simulation exercise that will aim to improve management efficiency, reevaluate rates and further refine the general business model.

Nissan will reduce the number of units in Phase 2 from the original 70 to 50 to improve efficiency, based on actual usage. The number of stations will drop slightly to 60 locations with approximately 110 parking areas.

Based on actual usage, the stations have been optimally positioned for improved efficiency.

The driving area is only within the City of Yokohama; the vehicles are restricted from driving on expressways and highways.

Nissan is introducing a new payment system for Phase 2 of the Car Sharing Service, with two options offered to suit the individual needs of the commuter.

  • Plan A: For those who commute to and from work, members of local corporations or people employed on a regular basis, a monthly fee of ¥1,000 (US$9.17) will be required. Included in that fee is up to 50 minutes of service at no additional cost. Service that exceeds 51 minutes will be charged at the same ¥20/minute (US$0.18) rate as in Phase 1.

  • Plan B: For customers who may not use the service on a regular basis, such as tourists, the rate will be ¥30 yen/minute (US$0.28), with no monthly fee required.

  • Member registration fee is ¥1,000 (Safety training and IC card cost included).

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