Another major auto brand is stepping outside the dealership. Nissan has opened a “pay with energy” pop-up cafe in Paris that celebrates the fact that worldwide drivers of its Leaf electric vehicle have clocked a total of 3 billion kilometers.
The opening of the Nissan Electric Cafe—for just three days, today through Sunday—coincides with the issuance of a bullish prediction for the brand’s future by CEO Carlos Ghosn, who also heads the France-based Renault brand.
“I think 2017 should be a good year,” Ghosn said in Japan this week, according to Automotive News, despite industry concerns about rising costs due to volatile currency and commodity markets, and uncertainties surrounding the trade policies of President-Elect Trump. “I think we will see reasonable economic growth, particularly in the car industry. I think we will establish a record for sales in 2017.”
Ghosn, who also hinted at more news to come at CES 2017 in January, cited confidence in rising demand for cars thanks to growth in global economies. And Nissan will continue its drive to develop, deploy and sell more “green” vehicles such as Leaf, the mainstream industry’s original all-electric vehicle.
To highlight Leaf’s “staggering milestone,” as Nissan put it in a press release, and to promote its new digital marketing platform, “Electrify the World,” the brand opened the Nissan Electric Cafe to give customers “the opportunity to use cutting-edge technology to produce their own energy” which, in turn, they can use as currency to pay for goods and services.
Among other cool features of the cafe are a WeWatt bar-seating system that encourages people to cycle while they’re sitting down. They continue to do so they generate a target wattage and are rewarded with a beverage, as well as a Pavegen photo pod, onto which visitors can jump and produce enough energy to take a photo.
The pop-up cafe also features a range of new technologies that embody the Nissan Intelligent Mobility platform, including an xStorage Home unit that uses Nissan EV batteries “to give consumers greater control over how and when they use energy” at their domicile. Some European consumes can now pre-order xStorage Home.
This system brings Nissan into direct competition with, among others, Tesla, which has acquired its affiliated Solar City company and is presenting home electricity solutions based on Tesla’s EV technology.
“Electric vehicles are just one element of Nissan’s vision,” said Gareth Dunsmore, director of electric vehicles for Nissan Europe.
— Nissan Europe (@NissanEurope) December 15, 2016
“Our pay with energy cafe is the perfect way of showcasing how we can potentially revolutionize the way in which we generate and utilize energy. We want to allow people to experience for themselves how new technologies such as xStorage Home can benefit their lives today as well as help improve the lives of future generations.”
As for the “Electrify the World” platform, it’s a new digital community that will use the brand’s network of social media sites and websites to inspire and discuss new conversations about sustainability and cleaner living.