Nissan Leaf Leased to 2,000 Japanese Households for Free: Signals Second-Gen EV Development

We have to give Nissan credit for trying everything it can to make electric cars possible. They’ve been battered with criticism and opposition from just about every V8 lover in the world and yet still found time to make huge strides of innovation to ensure that green future becomes a little bit closer. The Leaf remains the best selling EV in the world, partly because the company has made it cheaper, relocated some production for Europe and America and made a better battery pack.
Nissan Leaf at apartment building 1 photo
Photo: Nissan France
A few days ago, Nissan began a long-term monitoring campaign that lent 2,000 households from apartment buildings an EV for two months at a time. The program centers around 10 different locations across Japan and has been spread out over what remains of fiscal year 2014, which ends next March.

From our understanding, the Leafs will be charged either at the stations belonging to the apartment complexes or using support from Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi, who might have their own stations nearby.

Nissan did not give an official reason as to why it’s leasing electric car for free. However, their 2,000 car test fleet reminds us of the ones BMW and MINI used to gather date for the i3. Before a company can reinvent a product or target a new segment, it needs to know what people want to use it for. And we all know the next-gen Leaf wants to be a more mainstream car that everybody can use, including people who live in apartment buildings.

You see, people customers in densely populated apartment buildings have been the biggest hurdle for EV adoption. After all, you can’t throw a huge cable out the kitchen window to charge up the batteries every night. Considering Japan is one of the most densely populated and technologically advanced counties in the world, it's perfect for the test.

Will they use them on a daily basis? How long will the journeys be? When do they have time to charge? These are just some of the big questions Nissan is probably desperate to find the answer to.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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