Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and the Japan-based trading company Kanematsu Corporation have announced they have been officially selected by the New Energy Industrial Technology and Development Organization (NEDO), Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, to analyze electric vehicle use patterns in Northern California.

Nissan and Kanematsu said they were officially appointed after NEDO evaluation of the results of their preliminary study conducted from December 2014 to June 2015. Under the agreement between NEDO and the State of California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Nissan will be the project research coordinator, organizing and conducting the project with Kanematsu.

The State of California promotes the widespread use of zero emission vehicles. Auto manufacturers with in-state sales above a certain level are obliged to sell a fixed ratio of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and EV users enjoy preferential treatment, including use of priority traffic lanes. California ranks No. 1 among U.S. states for private EV use, with most cars used for shopping and city driving, according to the companies.

The NEDO project will seek to encourage the use of electric vehicles for longer distances and inter-city driving by installing and maintaining multiple quick chargers along specific inter-city routes. Nissan and Kanematsu said they will will collect and analyze data on EV driving patterns in California, and create a suitable model to help promote more extensive use of electric vehicles in the state and beyond.

With the help of the California state government, and U.S. utility company NRG eVgo, Nissan and Kanematsu said they plan to place additional quick chargers at suitable locations along inter-city freeways in Northern California, and use project-specific information services to guide EV users to the most efficient chargers along the route. The companies will then assess whether the combined hardware/software model can successfully encourage users to drive longer distances in EVs.

Nissan said its role in the project will be to install and operate the quick chargers, and analyze any changes in EV use that result.

Kanematsu said it will provide real-time information services to EV users. Kanematsu will also investigate potential business applications for real-time data and big data relating to EVs and EV charging systems.