Nissan is expanding its first full production all-electric vehicle, the Leaf, to a new market. This market isn’t a traditional automotive market, though. The automaker has brought the EV to the digital market through a partnership with video game giant Electronic Arts. The Nissan Leaf is now available to the 1.3 million fans that have purchased the new SimCity for the PC and the many more fans that will purchase the SimCity Mac edition when it is launched in June.
SimCity players can build an EV-friendly city by installing up to five Nissan-branded electric vehicle charging stations at no charge. What will the new eco-conscious Sims be driving? Nissan Leafs, of course! Once the charging infrastructure has been installed, players will be rewarded with a wave of happiness and all of the little Leaf-driving Sims will share this happiness through an EV smile.
"Even virtual cities recognize that electric vehicles are the future of a sustainable mobile society, and Nissan is excited to start helping SimCity players make their cities more environmentally friendly by adding its zero-emission Nissan LEAF to the game," said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. (Source: Nissan)
This creative bit of marketing could potentially introduce the Leaf, and electric vehicle technology, to a new demographic, gamers that may not match the traditional EV buyer profile.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after the Nissan Leaf had a record-setting month. In March 2013, Nissan sold 2,236 Leafs, a 286.2 percent increase over March 2012 numbers. Through the end of March 2013, the company had already sold 3,539 Leafs, a 104.2 percent increase year-to-date over last year’s sales number.
Nissan Leaf sales are only poised to rise. The company recently introduced a lower-priced model, the Nissan Leaf S, with an MRSP of $28,800 before the $7,500 federal tax credit. When state and local incentives are added in, California customers can purchase a 2013 Nissan Leaf for only $18,800.