2016 Nissan Leaf blue front 3/4 static
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf blue front 3/4
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf blue side
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf blue front
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf red side parked
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2016 Nissan Leaf red charging
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf red rear night
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2016 Nissan Leaf wheel
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf red rear badge
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf charging
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf charging plug
  • Image Credit: Nissan
2016 Nissan Leaf charger
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2016 Nissan Leaf charger blue
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2016 Nissan Leaf interior
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2016 Nissan Leaf interior front
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2016 Nissan Leaf screen monitor
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2016 Nissan Leaf shifter
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2016 Nissan Leaf interior black
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2016 Nissan Leaf trunk
  • Image Credit: Nissan
In an unusual marketing move, Nissan is promoting the Leaf electric car by going to the last place you would see one, a gas station. Actually, Nissan is going to multiple gas stations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and the promotion involves giving people free gasoline. Nissan will "take over" gas stations and give away gasoline to people that come. The company will also have a Leaf on display.

It seems the idea is to give people a sense of what it's like to not pay to keep your car fueled, which would be the case if they were driving a Leaf. For people who spend a lot on gas, maybe on a thirsty car or truck, this is probably a strong selling point. And getting that free tank of gas could hammer it home. Having spent a week in a Chevy Bolt EV recently, I can personally attest to the appeal of not having to buy gasoline to drive around, and I drive reasonably efficient cars. Of course, part of the appeal was simply not having to stop at a gas station, period.

Still, the idea of giving away gasoline to promote a gasoline-free car seems a bit counterintuitive. As our editor Jeremy Korzeniewski put it, "It's like advertising a digital camera by giving away free film." Just the idea of giving people more of something that they wouldn't use if they had a different product feels odd, even if we understand the idea.

If you want to take advantage of this free fuel promotion, you can follow Nissan on its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. The company will be going to stations in Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

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