GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Nissan Motor Co. said it is partnering with the Fleet Forum, an independent association that helps humanitarian groups improve their fleet management, to promote zero-emission mobility. Under an agreement reached by both parties, the automaker will lend five Nissan Leafs to the Fleet Forum for a year free of charge.

The Fleet Forum will rotate the vehicles among selected members for a few months each in order for them to experience the benefits of a zero-emission vehicle.

The participating members will be chosen by Fleet Forum and Nissan. Eligible organizations will have professional fleet management and an environmental strategy. The program will start in the second half of the year following the announcement of the selected members.

The Fleet Forum members operate a combined humanitarian fleet in excess of 80,000 vehicles, with an estimated operating cost of $800 million in U.S. dollars. The group is managed by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the UN World Food Program, World Vision International, Care, and TNT.

"The participating members will benefit directly, but in the end all members will benefit," said Fleet Forum Director Paul M. Jansen. "Together with Nissan we will gather and analyze the test data. We will build knowledge on electric driving. We can advise our members how to maximize the use of electric vehicles."

In turn, the partnership will allow Nissan to demonstrate to the humanitarian and aid community the benefits of the 100-percent electric Nissan Leaf, said Simon Sproule,  Nissan's corporate vice president. "The program will also help Nissan better understand the unique needs of humanitarian and aid organizations, as well as the conditions they work under in order to better meet their needs," he added.

Nissan is also in talks with the Fleet Forum to help it reduce C02 emissions from its fleet through the use of Nissan's "Eco Driving" technology.