Nissan Leaf electric car using DC fast-charging station at BP in Metrolina area of Charlotte, NCEnlarge Photo
It's one of the questions for future electric-car charging infrastructure: what about putting them at gas stations?
On the one hand, drivers are used to going to gas stations, which are often conveniently located on both local and long-distance routes.
On the other hand, gas-station stops generally take 10 to 15 minutes at most, while even fast charging for an electric car is a half-hour affair.
Experiments to determine what works best for the growing number of electric-car drivers are the answer, and that's what Nissan is doing in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The company announced this morning that it will partner with local convenience-store and gas-station operator Mark Oil to bring 10 new DC fast-charging sites for electric cars to local BP stations.
The joint effort also involved backing and assistance from Duke Energy, Stroupe Electric, the City of Charlotte, and the State of North Carolina.
Highway sign for electric-car fast-charging station at BP in Metrolina area of Charlotte, NCEnlarge Photo
The century-old Mark company operates more than 25 BP stations in the greater Charlotte area.
In addition to installing the fast-charging stations themselves, it will participate in the carmaker's "No Charge to Charge" promotion, which provides two years of free charging to new buyers of Nissan Leaf electric cars.
That promotion is now in effect in 50 cities throughout the U.S.
The 10 fast-charging stations are "the largest city-wide deployment of EV chargers at a chain of fueling stations in the U.S.," according to the partners.
Drivers of Nissan Leafs will be within 10 miles of a fast-charging site anywhere in the metro Charlotte area, Nissan said in its press release.
Not only that, but eight of those 10 BP stations will have charging symbols added to their logos on adjacent interstate-highway signs directing motorists to the stations for fueling and charging.
Map of electric-car fast-charging stations in and around Charlotte, North CarolinaEnlarge Photo
“Through our partnership with Nissan, we are thrilled to be able to provide electric charging stations at no cost," said Bill Tome, Mark Oil Company President.
The partnership, he added, makes Mark "among the largest providers of electric charging stations in America."
Nissan did not specify whether the stations installed by Mark will use solely the CHAdeMO protocol (built into just three electric cars sold in the U.S., including the Leaf).
The alternative would be to adopt the more common practice of offering one CHAdeMO cable and another for vehicles using the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) system.
Either way, Nissan Leaf drivers in the greater Charlotte area are likely to find they can now make longer journeys with the increase in local charging infrastructure.
Nissan calls Charlotte an "EV-friendly market." It's just one of several metropolitan regions where electric cars have gained a foothold and become popular, including Atlanta.