Nissan, BMW Partner To Provide More Fast-Charging For Electric Cars


BMW and Nissan electric car fast-charging station

BMW and Nissan electric car fast-charging station

Enlarge Photo

Many automakers are working to add public DC fast-charging stations for their electric cars.

But not all stations can be used by all cars. In fact, there are currently three different fast-charging standards.

There's the CHAdeMO standard used by the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Kia Soul EV. Then there's the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) preferred by most U.S. and German manufacturers, and finally Tesla Motors' own unique Supercharger standard.

DON'T MISS: Where Are Electric-Car DC Fast-Charging Stations? Depends On The Car

Now, two carmakers that use different standards are cooperating on a program of fast-charging expansion in selected areas of the United States.

BMW and Nissan claim to have helped make available new fast-charging stations at 120 locations across 19 states, networked using the Greenlots standard.

These are dual 50-kilowatt stations with a CHAdeMO connector that can accommodate Nissan's Leaf electric car, and a CCS connector for BMW's i3.

BMW and Nissan electric car fast-charging station

BMW and Nissan electric car fast-charging station

Enlarge Photo

The stations can recharge most electric cars' batteries to about 80 percent capacity in 20 to 30 minutes.

States covered by the buildout include California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Drivers can locate stations using their cars' navigation systems, as well as the BMW i Remote and Nissan EZ-Charge smartphone apps.

ALSO SEE: Buying An Electric Car: Why Charging Rate, DC Quick-Charging Matter

All stations are also compatible with the Nissan EZ-Charge card, which grants drivers access to stations across multiple networks without the need for an array of network-specific cards and fobs.

While both CHAdeMO and CCS have their champions, development of infrastructure for each has not proceeded at the same pace.

Nissan has promoted DC fast-charging pretty much since the launch of the Leaf five years ago, and now claims there are around 10,000 CHAdeMO stations available to its drivers worldwide.

BMW and Nissan electric car fast-charging station

BMW and Nissan electric car fast-charging station

Enlarge Photo

But the first CCS station did not open until October 2013, and the first CCS-equipped car--the BMW i3--didn't start to become widely available until the middle of 2014.

Even though more manufacturers are backing CCS, fewer cars actually use it today, and the buildup of CCS sites in the U.S. lags that of the CHAdeMO network.

More recently, though, BMW has been more aggressive about promoting fast charging.

MORE: Electric-Car Fast Charging: California CCS Sites Two Years Behind CHAdeMO

It previously partnered with Volkswagen to install 100 CCS stations on heavily-traveled East and West Coast corridors.

Dual-standard DC fast-charging stations are now fast becoming the standard for new installations and even retrofits.

Some municipalities include wording in permitting or licensing documents requiring that stations are able to charge using all "published global standards," meaning CHAdeMO and CCS but not Superchargers (a proprietary protocol limited to Teslas).

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