August 4, 2015
A 100% Electric Holiday: EV Car-sharing in Rural Japan
Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture – August 4 – Regional inns such as Chitose and Isen in northern Japan have begun offering car-sharing services in cooperation with Nissan Rent-a-Car and Japan Travel Bureau (JTB).
Kazunari Yanagi, Sr. Vice President at Chitose, says EVs are a perfect fit for the hot spring environment.
“Matsunoyama is a particularly hot onsen and spring water nears 98 degrees Celcius, and can produce electricity. We thought that EV car-sharing with the Nissan LEAF would be a good fit for our patrons.”
EV car-sharing allows inn patrons to book on-line and receive IC cards at check in for touring in the region.
Tomohiro Iguchi, President of Isen Co. and head of the Snow Country Tourism Association says rail travel is complemented by the EV car-sharing service.
“We currently have an Arts Festival this summer, but we actively try to preserve and promote the Snow Country culture, and the natural environment that we want visitors to experience. Thus, this combination of Nissan EV car-sharing and regional promotion is a good mix.”
The number of electric chargers in Japan has rapidly grown with estimates that the nation boasts more chargers than gas stations.
“JTB is installing some 1,620 regular electric chargers by August at over 1,000 domestic sites.”
“Merits for travelers are the ease of EV use as well as their environmentally-friendly qualities. Another is that the electric chargers are often near JR rail stations, offering mobility for regional travel by EVs.”