Try Out A Nissan Leaf FREE (!) For A Couple Of Months… In Japan

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Nissan is pursuing a rather strange (maybe that’s not the best word) sales strategy in Japan — one that will see up to 2,000 potential buyers “given” a LEAF electric car free of charge for a couple of months.

As per the sales program, these potential buyers will be given two months of free use — no strings attached. While one can certainly see how this approach could attract new buyers, it does kind of make you wonder though — “how can this be profitable?”



Worth noting is that the offer apparently is only open to apartment/condo residents in the immediate Tokyo area. This is apparently in order to ensure that test users will for sure have easy access to charging infrastructure — simplifying the experience (and making it more positive probably) for interested parties.

As we’ve argued several times, one of the biggest (probably the biggest) barrier to much wider electric vehicle (EV) adoption is lack of knowledge and experience. Can you think of a better offer a manufacturer can provide to get people to try out an EV?

This also shows how bullish Nissan is about the advantages of its LEAF.

GAS2 provides more:

Automakers and dealerships have offered “extended” test drives of up to a week or so before, but two months? That’s enough time to really get to know a car, it’s flaws and its advantages, as well as start to develop something of a relationship with the vehicle. I have a hard time giving a test car back after a week on occasion; after two months, it would feel like saying goodbye to a new friend. 

There are a lot of people interested in EVs, but many who don’t think their lifestyle will fit with the limited ranged offered by the likes of the Nissan LEAF. While several studies have conclusively said otherwise, there’s nothing like personal experience to change one’s mind. I would jump on this program in a heartbeat if Nissan brought it to the US, and I bet I could convince a few friends to give it a try as well. Of course LEAF sales have been steadily gaining steam on their own, so maybe such a program isn’t needed yet.

I’m not sure how likely it is such a program would be unrolled over here in the US, though. Japan and the US have so many differences culturally that it may well be that such a program could be successful in one country but not in the other. It would certainly make for interesting press though, wouldn’t it? Here’s to hoping.

Image Credit: Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica | EV Obsession (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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