NISSAN has announced an one-way car sharing service with the City of Yokohama that is the first of its kind in Japan to involve significant use of ultra-compact EVs.
Called “Choimobi Yokohama,” this new service, which will be provided in the downtown core of Yokohama, will eventually employ up to 100 units of the NISSAN New Mobility CONCEPT ultra-compact electric vehicle and commences on October 11, 2013.
Choimobi Yokohama is a combined effort between Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and the City of Yokohama as part of the Yokohama Mobility Project ZERO program (YMPZ). The YMPZ program is aimed at increasing low-emission transportation options for residents of the city.
The Choimobi Yokohama plan is designed to be a one-way car sharing service that enables EVs to be rented from and returned to any of 45 car pickup/return stations that will be located in the downtown core in Yokohama.
The main objectives of the year-long project are to reduce carbon emissions on public roads, improve the quality of transportation in the city, and promote tourism. With support from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Choimobi Yokohama (which means “easy mobility” in Japanese) will begin with the use of 30 units of the NISSAN New Mobility CONCEPT and gradually increase that number to approximately 100 units in total. To date, there has been no other car sharing service in Japan that has used such a high number of ultra-compact EVs for this type of mobility project.
Other companies have joined in to assist in this ambitious effort. The membership enrollment and reservation system for Choimobi Yokohama was developed by Hitachi, Ltd. The parking facilities at the various car stations, which are vital elements in this project, will be provided by Mitsui’s Repark of Mitsui Fudosan Realty Co., Ltd. as well as many other companies and tourist/public facilities.
Once the Choimobi service is underway, Nissan will work closely with local public transportation service providers, shopping malls, condominium management associations and local businesses to further explore the potential utility of ultra-compact EVs and the feasibility of related commercial opportunities.