This summer, Nissan will be promoting its LEAF electric car by taking over gas stations throughout the U.S. northeast to give away free gasoline.
Nissan is calling the promotion “Kick Gas,” and says the point is to let owners of conventional vehicles experience “the freedom of not having to pay for fuel.”
It’s an awfully unorthodox concept, but one cleverly crafted to point to Nissan’s position as a pioneer in the electric car marketplace: at its introduction in the U.S. in 2011 (and Canada a year later), it was the first car to bring electric drive technology to a mainstream segment and at an affordable price. The LEAF is now the best-selling EV ever, having sold more than 250,000 units worldwide.
The gas giveaways will happen in Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, with exact gas station details to be revealed through Nissan’s social media channels. Nissan says they will visit three gas stations in each of the five states throughout the summer.
We’d suggest it’s no surprise Nissan is launching the Kick Gas campaign just as rumours are beginning to swirl about a second-generation model we suspect will make an appearance during the 2018 auto show circuit.
But while Nissan was the first to bring electric driving to an affordable price point, it has yet to add any other electric models, or even a plug-in hybrid, as numerous competitors make concerted pushes into the electrified vehicle space.
On the other hand, Nissan is also getting some unexpected promotion for its EV program from unexpected quarters: a group of EV enthusiasts is driving a LEAF from the UK to Mongolia this summer, and earlier this year, the Pope added a LEAF to the Vatican’s fleet.