2012 Nissan Leaf winter testEnlarge Photo
Talk to any electric car owner, and it’s likely they’ll tell you how little money they spend on running their plug-in car.
For them, the switch to electric pays dividends in saved gas bills, but in Japan, a new scheme by Nissan takes it one step further, allowing electric car drivers to earn CO2 credits which help fund more electric car charging stations and conserve the environment.
Nissan’s Zero Emissions Fund, run in conjunction with the Green Investment Promotion Organization and certified by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, uses Nissan’s Carwings telematics service to track the total mileage travelled by each Leaf.
Nissan Leaf 'polar bear' ad
Nissan Leaf 'polar bear' adEnlarge Photo
It then uses that data to calculate how much carbon dioxide each Leaf has prevented from entering the atmosphere. That amount is then converted into CO2 emission credits.
Nissan then sells the credits to the Green Investment Promotion Organization, which in turn sells them on the open CO2 emissions credit marketplace.
Profits from that sale are then used to fund forest conservation activities throughout the country, as well as pay for the installation of additional rapid charging stations at key locations throughout the country.
Although we’re pleased to see Nissan incentivizing and rewarding the use of electric cars in this way, it’s worth noting that how much carbon dioxide an electric car is responsible for creating -- or saving -- depends on how the electricity used to power it is generated.