Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors Co will allow drivers of their electric vehicles to share battery chargers at their 2,900 dealerships nationwide in a bid to increase the popularity and convenience of the eco-friendly cars, a media report said.
Drivers of Nissan's electric Leaf, which will soon be able to use battery chargers installed at Mitsubishi dealerships, and Mitsubishi's i-MiEV users can recharge their vehicles at Nissan's outlets, the Daily Yomiuri Online said.
The number of public battery charge stations remains relatively low. Nissan and Mitsubishi have been installing chargers at their dealerships, and decided sharing their equipment would be more convenient for electric vehicle users and encourage more drivers to buy the cars, the report added.
Both companies offer free recharging for their clients at the dealerships. However, Nissan plans to charge Mitsubishi users up to several hundred yen per recharge at its outlets, a Nissan source said. Mitsubishi is considering whether to charge Nissan users.
Nissan Leaf will be rolled out on Dec 20 in Japan. The prices would start at 3.76 million yen (45,000 dollars), but the actual price customers would have to pay will start at 2.98 million yen as the environmentally friendly car will be eligible for subsidies. These subsidies are applicable only until the end of Japan's fiscal year, which falls on March 31. The government is yet to announce its incentive policy beyond that date.
Nissan said it has installed charging equipment at all its 2,200 domestic dealers in Japan, so as to enable the drivers to charge the car when the battery runs low.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, have the potential to make up 9 percent of auto sales in 2020 and 22 percent in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million vehicle sales respectively).