Nissan launches ‘social network’ car-share ownership scheme

Japanese carmaker Nissan has unveiled the world's first social network-powered shared car ownership scheme, which invoices individuals based on the monthly usage of a nearby fleet of Nissan Micra Acentas.

The sharing economy scheme aims to “profile match” compatible owners with complementary driving needs, pairing customers up as joint owners. The completely digital process will be launching in Paris later this year, with the cars will be expected to hit the roads by April 2017. 

“We are moving toward a future where car usage may be more flexible, social and shared,” Nissan’s chief executive Carlos Ghosn said. “At Nissan, we’re pioneering new ways to allow drivers to enjoy the freedom and financial benefits of shared car ownership. And there is no better vehicle to launch this program than the all-new Micra, which embodies the vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”

The scheme will use geo-localisation technology to match consumers with vehicles. Insurance, servicing and access to an online matching tool, smartphone app and in-car technology are also available.

Consumers will pay for the scheme through monthly invoices based on overall car usage. Additionally, communities will need to agree upon an annual mileage limit of 15,000 km as part of the scheme.

‘Intelligent Mobility’

This programme represents the company’s latest step in its “Intelligent Mobility” division that looks to provide a new smart framework for how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. Shortly after the announcement, Nissan celebrated a new milestone for commercial electric vehicle (EV) sales in Europe.

The company has now sold 75,000 EV models across Europe. Sales have been bolstered with Nissan’s e-NV200 sales increasing by 34% year-on-year and Leaf sales rising by 10% in the first half of FY16 compared with the last year’s FY15 figures.

Overall, 260,000 Nissan EVs have been sold worldwide, reinforcing Nissan’s vision for a zero-emission future and its Intelligent Mobility initiative.

Nissan Europe’s director of electric vehicles at Gareth Dunsmore said: “Europe’s electric vehicle market is growing at an extraordinary pace as motorists across the continent switch on to the multiple benefits that electric mobility provides.”

Recently, the automotive giant has pushed its Intelligent Mobility initiative with the announcement of its partnership with car hailing service Uber, on a new EV project aimed at tackling air pollution in London earlier this year.

Also, Nissan has established a first-of-its-kind UK-based project to develop 100 new vehicle-to-grid (V2G) energy storage units that will allow consumers to sell energy stored by Nissan Leaf cars back to the National Grid.

Alex Baldwin

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