Nissan and the City of Yokohama in Japan have introduced a round-trip car-sharing service featuring the Nissan New Mobility Concept, an ultra-compact electric vehicle designed to minimise pollution.

The service, called “Choimobi Yokohama”, enables users who register online to pick up and return cars in 14 locations around Yokohama Station. Cars can be reserved 30 minutes in advance and can be driven within the city.

Pick-up/drop-off locations include well-known hotels and landmarks, and there are also free parking spaces in 12 locations. The vehicles are restricted from driving on expressways and highways with speed limits exceeding 60km/h.

The service costs 250 yen per 15 minutes plus a 200 yen basic charge, with a maximum daily charge of 3,000 yen.

Users need a Japanese driver’s license, a smartphone and a Japan-issued credit card. Registration is available on the Choimobi website and registrants are required to watch a video featuring operating instructions and information on driving safety before making a booking.

Nissan and the City of Yokohama previously conducted a two-year trial of Japan’s first one-way car-sharing service using ultra-compact electric vehicles, starting in October 2013.

The aim was to encourage low-emission transport options, improve the quality of transportation and promote tourism. In October 2015, the partnership began renting cars to local tour operators and businesses.

The new round-trip service is meant to further promote ultra-compact mobility and build a sustainable business model through public-private co-operation. The service will also include guided tours around central Yokohama and long-term car leasing for businesses.