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Nissan To Triple Quick-Charging Stations For Electric Cars Over 18 Months

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Nissan Leaf electric car with eVgo quick charging station. [courtesy eVgo]

Nissan Leaf electric car with eVgo quick charging station. [courtesy eVgo]

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Nissan announced today that it would provide 40 quick-charging stations to NRG, which will use them to expand its eVgo electric-car charging network into the Washington, D.C., region.

Working with its dealers, local authorities, and charging-station partners. Nissan hopes to triple the number of quick-charging stations available in the U.S.

There are now about 160 quick-charge stations, mostly on the West Coast and in Texas; Nissan hopes to add another 500 new stations over the next 18 months.

The company envisions "a quick-charging network that links communities and neighborhoods where people live, work, shop and socialize,” according to Nissan’s director of electric vehicle marketing and sales strategy, Brendan Jones.

“Having a robust charging infrastructure helps build range confidence," Jones said, "which boosts interest in and use of electric vehicles."

The quick-charging stations can recharge a depleted Leaf battery pack to 80 percent of capacity in just half an hour, adding more than 50 miles of range under most circumstances.

Nissan is targeting three areas for the fast-charging stations: its own dealerships, workplace campuses where employees can park, and municipalities located between pairs of areas with large numbers of electric-car drivers.

The company notes that while most electric-car charging today takes place at home, workplace charging is expanding quickly. More than 1,500 companies offer it today, Jones said.

Nissan and NRG made the announcement at a press conference held at today's Washington, D.C., Auto Show.

The eVgo expansion is part of a renewed push by Nissan and eVgo to expand the availability of quick-charging stations that use the CHAdeMO standard.

That quick-charging standard can be used with a majority of the 20,000 or so Nissan Leafs sold in the U.S. (and also many of the 700 or so Mitsubishi i-MiEVs as well).

But a different standard, dubbed CCS (and also known as "SAE Combo"), will be used by U.S. and German makers in years to come. So far, no cars on sale use that standard, and no public CCS charging stations have been installed.

2011 Nissan Leaf at quick-charging station

2011 Nissan Leaf at quick-charging station

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The eVgo Freedom Stations, as they're known, will have a Nissan quick-charge station and also a Level 2 240-Volt charging outlet, which can be used by any modern electric car.

Quick-charging stations are now available in eVgo networks in Houston and in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The company says it plans to expand to the San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley areas. 

That expansion is largely funded by NRG as part of the settlement of a longstanding lawsuit over excess utility fees charged to California ratepayers a decade ago.

Consumer advocates criticized the settlement as offering little to the utility customers who paid the overcharges and having been negotiated entirely behind closed doors. That position pitted them against electric-car advocates.

Nevertheless, the California Public Utilities Commission approved that settlement essentially as first proposed, meaning NRG could invest in infrastructure that will make it money rather than reimburse the ratepayers.

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Comments (16)
  1. I don't understand Nissan's approach. Why target DC Fast Charge to workplaces? Employees don't need a fast charge. They need the charge to be done when they are ready to drive home 8-10 hours after arrival. A fast charge at work means they need to go outside and move their car so someone else can charge. Level 1 chargers at work are much more cost-effective and practical.

    Why dealerships? Not typically located in places where drivers spend a lot of time or have access to work/shopping/entertainment while charging.

    Focus on the major DC neighborhoods - Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, etc. - where people live, work, shop.
     
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  2. Can I suggest the I-95 corridor on the East Coast? Put them no more the 40 miles apart and at destination locations. Basically, give people something to do for half an hour while the quick charge does it's thing.
     
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  3. I agree, I need quick charging stations along major routes more than I need them around town. Looking forward to getting them along PA turnpike this summer.
     
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  4. it'd be nice to see a few of these at the 1-95 rest stops, (Cheseapeake house, Maryland house, delaware rest center, the NJT rest stops)

    if they matched them up we could see people zipping up to NYC all electric.
     
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  5. So the ratepayers that overpaid... get to know that charger are being purchased for cars that are not popular and the chargers will soon be Beta technology?

    That makes sense,

    Sharyn
     
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  6. Workplace locations aren't bad, as long as the chargers are open to the public on nights and weekends.
    For me, having more chargers won't get me into an electric car any faster. The only thing that will do that is having a car with a comfortable range.
     
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  7. NRG made out like a bandit in this deal with California and so far has shown little interest in living up to their side of the bargain.

    It is simply amazing that in the area where there is the highest number of registered EVs (Los Angeles County) and a population of over 9 million people there is only one DC fast charger.

    if they spent as much time on getting chargers in the market place as they do on press releases maybe they'd actually have some chargers out there.
     
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  8. Enjoying our 20 fast chargers in the Houston region...
     
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  9. I would like to know a little more about where these 400+ chargers are going to be located?

    My municipality was interested in purchasing a QC station, but was quoted a price more than double the $10,000 that Nissan originally listed their charger at. They passed. How about a deal to sell QC stations at cost to help build infrastructure?
     
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  10. The "Combined Charging System" CCS is a bit more than the article implies. The best two page summary of it I found using this google search:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=%22combo+2%22+european+charging
    and see this link:
    Combined Charging – the universal charging system Design ...
     
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  11. What should really be done is get some high speed chargers that will work. Here in Oregon as often as not, the Blink chargers have only one side working and often are totally down. What is worse than getting to a station and have it be down for service. My success rate for getting charges has been about 50 percent. Getting available status has also been a problem. Several chargers are in the area but they have proven unreliable, the same as not having any to access.
     
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  12. "That expansion is largely funded by NRG as part of the settlement of a longstanding lawsuit over excess utility fees charged to California ratepayers a decade ago"

    So why use tax payer money to only fund a certain type of "fast" charging network. They should add the CCS plug to the charging station as well.

    Charging stations should be universal, plugs should be interchangable or available for different cars...
     
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  13. Actually the terms of the NRG settlement requires them to build chargers with BOTH the CCS plug AND the CHAdeMO plug once the CCS plug standard is finalized (which happened late last year). They are only allowed to build CHAdeMO only stations while the CCS standard has not been finalized (and I believe those stations have to be retrofitted for CCS afterwards). Since according to their map, they have 0 quick charging stations in California so far (all their stations are in Texas), all 200 quick charge stations that they promised for California must have both plugs (they may have been waiting for the standard to be finalized to avoid having to retrofit existing chargers).
     
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  14. Ugh, politics... So why CCS and not Telsa, which one can argue is and will remain much more prevalent?

    As ratepayer (taxpayer too, but that's irrelevant here), I would much rather see the number of chargers made proportional to the number of compatible vehicles expected to be on the road in the foreseeable future.

    And/or, heck, have manufacturers contribute. Thank you Nissan for at last stepping up to the task; this was long overdue. (Even Mitsubishi did better so far, they installed at least one QC...)
     
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  15. Chargers at the dealership? The dealers are not particularly interested in providing a free service once they have your money. Bought my Leaf from Sheehy on Pickett St. Delivered half empty. Tried to use their chargers but they were using the charger spots for overflow parking.
     
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  16. Ouch! I LEASED my '12 SL from Cowles Nissan in Woodbridge, They were more then open and helpful with tips and leaving their charge stations open for all Leaf'ers. They are a strong "Pro" Leaf dealer and they always say if there is another car blocking the EVSE they will move it for you. I've never liked the Sheehy dealers in this area, greedy and no since of "friendliness" IMO. I would of tossed the fobs back to the salesman and said FULL or NO DEAL. (atleast just to get home).
     
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