Nissan, the Japanese automaker behind the renowned LEAF electric vehicle (EV), together with the City of Yokohama are currently set to be introducing a round-trip car-sharing service that is said to feature the Nissan New Mobility Concept, an ultra-compact electric vehicle, which is a rebranded Renault Twizy. The move allegedly enables customers to rent electric cars for short distances which can be reserved 30 minutes in advance and can be driven within the city. A certain service, known as Choimobi Yokohama is a car-sharing scheme that allows the users who register online to pick up and return cars in 14 locations around Yokohama Station.
The Twizy-based Car Sharing
The service costs 250 yen for every 15 minutes plus a 200 yen basic charge, with a maximum daily charge of 3,000 yen or €1.6 for every booking that will be made and €2 per quarter of an hour. According to Global Fleet, in order to use the service, the company said that users would need to have a Japanese driver's license, a smartphone, and a Japan-issued credit card. In October 2013, it was found that Nissan and the City of Yokohama have already initiated a two-year trial of Japan's first one-way car sharing service using ultra-compact electric vehicles.
Per Fleet News, the aim of the project is to encourage low-emission transport options, improve the quality of transportation and as well as to promote tourism. In 2015, it was said that the partnership allegedly began renting cars to local tour operators and businesses. Additionally, the new round-trip service has also meant a further promotion of ultra-compact mobility for the company and the city and was found to allegedly build a sustainable business model through public-private cooperation.
Apart from the above-mentioned features and benefits, the service reportedly includes guided tours around central Yokohama and long-term car rentals for businesses. As of the press time, Nissan explains that they will continue to work hand-in-hand with the City of Yokohama in terms of studying the usability and feasibility by encouraging various local entities to join the program.