While most electric cars get charged overnight for most of their miles, the growing number of DC fast-charging sites enable longer trips when necessary.
But those quick chargers--initially CHAdeMO stations for Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV cars, and more recently Tesla Supercharger sites for its cars alone--have to be there to make those trips possible.
In January 2013, there were roughly 160 CHAdeMO quick-charging sites live, mostly on the West Coast and in Texas.
Fast Charging 2011 Nissan Leaf
Nissan said then that it hoped to triple that number over the following 18 months, adding up to 500 fast chargers in locations across the country, including many at its dealers.
So has the maker of the best-selling electric car in the world hit its goal, 18 months later?
According to Nissan's Brian Brockman, the U.S. has "a total of 633 operational CHAdeMO quick-charging units today, including 180 at Nissan dealerships."
The locations of those stations are available on PlugShare, Brockman said: "We've tried to...ensure that chargers we install, or help to install, get listed on PlugShare with accurate data--and photos whenever possible."
Nissan isn't done, either. For the rest of the company's fiscal year 2014 (which ends next March 31), Brockman says Nissan will "look to continue taking a proactive approach" that ramps up quick-chargin locations at a similar rate.
Nissan LEAF Charging Port
Again, some of those stations will be installed together with partners, others will be at dealers, and still others will be strategically located in top Leaf markets.
Those top markets today include the regions around Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas, and other cities.
By comparison, as of today, Tesla now has 101 of its own Supercharger locations open in the U.S.
A third vehicle will be added to the roster of electric cars in the U.S. that can fast-charge at CHAdeMO locations when the 2015 Kia Soul EV goes on sale in selected locations later this summer.
[hat tip: Brian Henderson]