Like Tesla, Nissan knows that EV drivers want a safety net of charging stations; it's no fun to hunt for a power socket many miles from home. Accordingly, the automaker will soon deploy CHAdeMO-based quick chargers at more than 100 dealerships across 21 US markets. The rollout starts this summer and finishes by April 1st of next year. Combined with stations from a 24-dealer pilot, the expansion should give many urban Leaf drivers at least one reliable charging location -- and Nissan may get a few more sales in the bargain.
Nissan To Add Electric Vehicle Quick Charging At More Than 100 U.S. LEAF-Certified Dealerships
Quick charge units can recharge Nissan LEAF to 80 percent in about 30 minutes
NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to speed the expansion of electric vehicle charging and build consumer awareness of the capability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF, Nissan will support installation of more than 100 DC quick chargers at LEAF-certified dealers in 21 key markets nationwide.
The units, which use the CHAdeMO standard, can charge the vehicle from depleted to about 80 percent in about 30 minutes.
Brendan Jones, director of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, Nissan said: "Nissan is undertaking a proactive, multi-pronged approach to expand charging infrastructure to enhance awareness of electric cars like the LEAF and instill range confidence in potential customers. We know that available charging infrastructure opens the doors for more Nissan LEAF sales."
This quick charging initiative follows a 24-dealer pilot program, which Nissan rolled out at dealerships in the markets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Seattle. During the pilot, Nissan has been able to study the frequency of use for the chargers and the impact that charging has on the dealer's operations.
"We are located at the intersection of two of the country's busiest freeways, so having a quick charger available for the thousands of commuters who drive by us every day is a boon for business," said Richard Luengo, general manager, Nissan of Downtown Los Angeles, which is averaging about 10 charging sessions per day at its quick charger. "There is a steady stream of folks using the charger, and we've generated significant good will in the LEAF community. Over the past four months, our dealership has seen a marked improvement in sales, and some of that is clearly attributable to the new quick charger."
So far, the active chargers in the program have been popular. Since the pilot began, about 5,600 charging sessions have taken place, with each location averaging about 4.5 sessions per day. That figure has been steadily on the rise as awareness has increased. Over the period of June 21-July 1, the number of charging sessions increased about 12.5 percent compared to the previous two-week period.
Installation of new chargers will begin in east coast markets, starting this summer. By April 1, 2014, Nissan expects to have quick chargers installed and operational at 100 additional dealerships.
Nissan's charging partner AeroVironment will supply the quick chargers and will provide installation services for nearly all of the new quick charging units.