Nissan tries car sharing with tiny electric vehicles

19 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nissan and Scoot Networks Partner in San Francisco.

Nissan is the latest carmaker to experiment with car sharing, although the vehicles it will deploy in a new San Francisco pilot program sort of stretch the definition of “car.” The Japanese company will partner with Scoot Networks to launch a fleet of 10 “Nissan New Mobility Concept” electric vehicles in the Bay Area.Today, San Franciscans have a new way to ride around the city with the addition of 10 all-electric Nissan New Mobility Concept vehicles to the Scoot Networks mobility service.

Cities are clogged up with petrol guzzling, loud, expensive, polluting cars, which is exactly what Scoot wants to change with their new ‘Quad car’ concept. The tiny Nissan is actually a Renault Twizy, a small electric car that’s sold in Europe, but that isn’t quite substantial enough to meet U.S. standards for a roadworthy automobile.

The idea is that you rent one of these quad cars for the day or even an hour, to get you where you need to be without the hassle of renting a big bulky car. San Francisco residents use Scoots for a variety of activities such as quick commutes across town, running errands or as a fun way to explore the city. “Scoot isn’t just for scooters,” said Michael Keating, founder and CEO, Scoot Networks. “If it’s small, electric and fun, you will be able to find it in the Scoot app and ride it all over the city. These cars are what are generally classified as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV), meant to drive on surface streets and urban areas, but not on highways or freeways. For getting around in urban environments where parking is scarce, space is limited, and bicycles are prone to theft, these “glorified golf carts” are perfect. “As large cities continue to grow into megacities globally, we need to understand how transportation is changing and look ahead to anticipate what transportation needs will look like in the future,” said Rachel Nguyen, executive director, Nissan Future Lab. “Scoot Networks is an ideal partner in this research project because they are fulfilling a need that has emerged in the San Francisco market, and they share a similar commitment to zero-emissions mobility.” Scoot Networks runs several light electric vehicle options in its mobility network and the Quad is just another great option for the company’s fleet of rentals. Car sharing is becoming a popular alternative to ownership for many urban residents, for whom actually owning a car can be burdensome due to parking, traffic, and other considerations.

Daimler operates its Car2Go service with gasoline and electric Smart Fortwo models in several U.S. and European cities, and Audi is introducing a pilot short-term rental service called Audi On Demand in San Francisco.

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