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Electric car drivers in Japan will soon have yet another place to power up their silent rides: the 18,000 hotels affiliated with the All Japan Ryokan Association. The charging infrastructure will be established with the help of the Renault-Nissan alliance, but is not simply about the plugs. Instead, the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that says they will use the chargers (exactly which type was not mentioned) as a way to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and "travel packages and accommodation plans such as 'eco', Zero-emission tours with the EV." Other programs – like test drives – are also part of the MOU.

Even in a country the size of Japan, though, you might want to go farther than 100 miles (the stated range of Nissan's upcoming Leaf EV), which means that the convenience store charging network would be a good help for any EV tour. At the very least, after a night of sipping sake and visiting the onsen, your car will be as recharged as you are.



[Source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE

Renault-Nissan Alliance and All Japan Ryokan Association Signs Partnership in Developing EV Charging Infrastructure

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and All Japan Ryokan Association today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperatively work in realizing a low-carbon and recycling-oriented society. The two organizations will promote development of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructures in hotels affiliated with the association and initiate a study in creating new demand in the hotel industry together with the promotion of EV.

Under the MOU, the partnership will initiate a joint-study focused on the following four areas.

1. Development of charging infrastructure in hotels affiliated with the All Japan Ryokan Association.
* Deployment of EV charging stations in member hotels for use by guests during their stay.
2. Planning, development and sales of new travel packages which focuses on Zero-emission and EV.
* Creation of travel packages and accommodation plans such as "eco", Zero-emission tours with the EV.
* Generate new demand, raise awareness and increase sales promotion opportunities by conducting tours or test drive events in which customers can experience EV.
3. Provide concurrent information on charging stations, vacancies in hotels and an instant reservation service.
* Information delivery service on charging stations and hotels nationwide.
Provide new services in cooperation with map information providers and operators of hotel reservation websites.
4. Promote education on EV.
* Study measures to promote EV's excellent environmental performance and to improve attractiveness of EV for hotel guests and tourists.

"By installing charging facilities in about 18,000 hotels all over Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa, we will be able to greatly contribute to tourists." said Nobuyuki Sato, President, All Japan Ryokan Association. "It is important for them to be able to charge EV during their stay so that they can continue their travel with EV. It will appeal to them by giving a sense of assurance and confidence. With this partnership with Nissan which our business partner, DIO Japan*, introduced us, we want to demonstrate that hotels in Japan, greatly contribute to a low-carbon society."

Toshiyuki Shiga, Nissan Chief Operating Officer said, "All Japan Ryokan Association's efforts will extend EV's driving range and expand the possibility of its usage. It will also lead to better understanding of EV's eco-friendliness, superb driving performance and appeal.."

The Renault-Nissan Alliance aims to be a global leader in zero-emission mobility. To-date the Alliance has signed zero-emission partnerships with more than 40 governments, municipalities and companies worldwide. Nissan will introduce the LEAF electric car in Japan, the United States and Europe in late FY2010 followed by global mass marketing in 2012.

*DIO Japan
DIO Japan call center is in charge of reservations for "Silver Star" hotels which are registered in All Japan Ryokan Association as senior-friendly accommodations
.

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