This weekend, Nissan was accepting Tweets as payment for cab rides in Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicles in. The reasoning? To boost the profile of its electric vehicles in the UK.

Nissan says riders needed to send Tweets that included the hashtag '#6XCHEAPER' and their destination to get a free lift. Why that hashtag? Nissan estimates that powering a Leaf is about one-sixth the cost of paying for fuel in a conventional vehicle and says it's no skin off their back to offer free cab rides because running the cabs is so cheap.

The promotion was part of Nissan's "The Big Turn On" campaign that launched in April that was geared towards getting one million people to experience electric-vehicle driving in just 100 days. Through this and other events, that goal was reached June 20, 18 days ahead of schedule.
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FROM QUICK CHARGE TO NO CHARGE
  • Londoners get turned on to electric cars with free taxi rides in the Nissan LEAF
  • Free taxi rides by Nissan LEAF in exchange for a Tweet
  • To grab a free ride add '#6XCHEAPER' to your weekend Tweets
  • An EV is six times cheaper to fuel than an ordinary car
  • Activity part of Nissan's mass digital campaign - 'The Big Turn On'
LONDON (21 June 2012) - Professional taxi drivers will be swapping their current cars for Nissan LEAF electric cars this coming weekend. A fleet of zero-emission Nissan LEAFs will be driving around London on the 23rd and 24th June, offering free 'taxi' rides. To grab a ride, all a prospective passenger has to do is send a Tweet that incorporates the hashtag '#6XCHEAPER' and their chosen destination. Nissan is also using the activity to gather consumer feedback on a potential taxi of the future.

The use of Twitter is an integral part of Nissan's ambitious campaign, 'The Big Turn On', which is spreading the EV message via social media channels and aimed to get one million consumers switched onto electric driving, in just 100 days. The 1 million 'turn ons' target was achieved on the 20th June, 18 days ahead of the original target.

The '#6XCHEAPER' tag emphasises that fuelling an electric vehicle is six times cheaper than a similar sized petrol car. Using off-peak electricity, Nissan estimates it costs just 1.75* pence in fuel to travel one mile in a Nissan LEAF, but more than 10 pence per mile in a conventional car.

A trip from central London to Heathrow Airport, for example, would cost the Nissan LEAF driver a mere 28 pence in electricity whereas the driver of a petrol-powered car would be forking out £1.68 in fuel. A trip to Oxford - at approximately 60 miles, well within the car's range - would cost the Nissan LEAF driver less than £1 in fuel, but would cost the driver of a conventional car almost £6.

Electric vehicles enjoy even more savings. Because it produces zero emissions, Nissan LEAF is exempt from London's congestion charge and attracts no annual vehicle excise duty, helping financially squeezed motorists as much as possible.

"This is part of a campaign designed to get people to turn on to 100% electric driving by busting many of the myths and highlighting the many benefits of electric cars, including incredibly low fuel costs.

By offering free taxi rides, we aim to show hundreds of people just how practical and affordable the Nissan LEAF is to run. As each journey costs us so little, we're not charging passengers - there's no point quibbling over a few pence." said Jim Wright, Managing Director of Nissan GB.

The fleet of Nissan LEAF EVs will be based at their very own 'taxi rank' at the Truman Brewery, near Liverpool St Station and will be giving free rides to destinations across London. That means as far west as Turnham Green or to the O2 Arena in the east. The Nissan LEAF cabs will go south of the river as far as Clapham and as far north as Hampstead. They will be operating from 10am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday and driven by professional drivers from car service operator, Climate Cars.

All Tweets sent with the '#6XCHEAPER' hashtag will be monitored and winners of the free rides chosen at random to avoid queues. Each journey will be logged and passengers shown just how much they would save in fuel costs by going electric.

For more information:

*To join in The Big Turn On, point your mouse to: www.nissan.co.uk/thebigturnon

For further information on the Nissan LEAF please visit www.nissan.co.uk/leaf or follow us at @nissanleafuk on Twitter and NissanLEAFUK on Facebook