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Dialing In Mobility EV-olution in Yokohama

Oct. 11 – Yokohama – Dialing in zero-emission mobility is now at the touch of a phone, as EV car-sharing goes local.

Using a smartphone to book one-way passage, rental car pick up and drop off will be available at up to 70 sites in Yokohama.

“For a long time I’ve been interested in vehicles, and I thought the era of EVs would come sooner, but then there was the Nissan LEAF,” said Takeshi Maeda, a Yokohama resident.

“I’ve waited for a smaller version, one to use more regularly that seems easy-to use.”

A reservation system, developed with Hitachi, uses Mitsui parking areas in Yokohama and up to 100 of the 2-seater, ultra-compact New Mobility Concept EVs.

The “Choimobi Yokohama” program aims to cut CO2 on public roads and potentially promote tourism – with a nominal cost of about $2 for a 10-minute ride.

Nissan, local governments and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism are behind the EV push, with Yokohama’s mayor introducing the plan Thursday.

“There is a big potential for this project and people will consider it another option for transportation. It will be useful not just for tourists, but also for people going shopping or to the hospital as well as for business use,” said Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City.

“That’s especially the case in Minatomirai, where business activity is very dynamic. Also, considering the wide variety of uses and our aim to be a low-carbon city, this project will help us to achieve our goal, bringing the vehicles’ simplicity and usefulness to people. I think it has a lot of merit.”

Other locations such as the Japanese island of Teshima will use EVs to support eco-tourism, but the plan is expected to find more global traction ahead.

For Nissan the zero-emission merits of greater EV take up are obvious.

“If the battery is fully charged, it will run more than 100km,” said Toshiaki Otani, Senior Vice President at Nissan Motor.

“The Nissan LEAF runs more than 200km, so if we compare the two, the Mobility Concept EV’s range is less but for short trips in the city, we think 100km is more than enough.”

Once completing the EV ride and park, check out is as easy an email – with those waiting for a car-share dialing in their mobility needs.

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