Nissan To Triple US Fast Charging Infrastructure By Adding 500 Units In Next 18 Months

1 year ago by Jay Cole 25

Nissan And eVgo Team Up To Bring 500 More Quick Chargers To The US

Nissan And eVgo Team Up To Bring 500 More Quick Chargers To The US

The prospect of being able to fast-charge your plug-in car in the United States (and the Washington D.C. area especially) just got a lot more realistic today, as Nissan made a big announcement about the future of the public charging infrastructure throughout the country today at the Washington Auto Show.

A Nissan LEAF Can Get A 80% Quick Charge In About 30 Mins (click to enlarge)

A Nissan LEAF Can Get A 80% Quick Charge In About 30 Mins (click to enlarge)

Just a few days ago we reported that over 2,000 public DC fast charging stations had now been installed around the world.  However, the amount of fast-charging available in the United States, where arguably it is needed the most, was still lacking:

  • Japan – 1,381
  • Europe - 601
  • U.S. – 154

Today, Nissan, with some help from NRG Energy’s eVgo Freedom Stations, says they are going to triple that US number by themselves over the next year and a half by adding 500 new stations to the infrastructure; with 40 of them going specifically into the greater Washington D.C. area.

Of note: currently, Washington D.C. has no fast chargers at all.

“We envision a quick-charging network that links communities and neighborhoods where people live, work, shop and socialize,” said Brendan Jones, Nissan’s director of electric vehicle marketing and sales strategy. “Having a robust charging infrastructure helps build range confidence, which boosts interest in and use of electric vehicles. By improving the charging infrastructure, Nissan furthers its commitment to bringing electric vehicles to markets throughout the United States.”

Chevrolet Volt Gets A L2 Top Up At eVgo Station

A Chevrolet Volt Finds It Can Also Get A ”Level 2″ Top Up At An eVgo Station

Nissan says these new fast-chargers will focus on three major areas:

  • fast chargers though its dealer network
  • workplace campus charging
  • opportunities within local neighborhoods that help interconnect communities where drivers spend the bulk of their time
    and do the majority of their driving

In Washington specifically, Nissan is teaming up with NRG’s eVgo network at 40 eVgo Freedom Station sites around the area.  Each of these Freedom Station sites will have a Nissan fast charger present that can ‘refill’ a LEAF by 80% in about 30 minutes, as well as at least one Level 2 240V terminal.

“Through its subsidiary eVgo, NRG’s investment of approximately $150 million in EV charging infrastructure will provide EV drivers with access to hundreds of public fast-charging Freedom Station sites along with level 2 (240-volt) charging stations at homes, offices, multi-family communities, schools and hospitals across Texas, California and the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.”

Coming In The Spring of 2013 The Smart ForTwo ED (seen here in convertible trim at an eVgo station) Unfortunately On Comes With 3.3 kW Level 2 Charging Abilities

Coming In The Spring of 2013 The Smart ForTwo ED (seen here in convertible trim at an eVgo station) Unfortunately Only Comes With 3.3 kW, Level 2 Charging Abilities

NRG currently also operates networks in Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and will shortly bring networks to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley areas featuring Nissan’s fast chargers.

Nissan is also working with 30 of their own dealerships in a case study to determine how to “best leverage” dealer participation within the fast-charging infrastructure to provide public access, in a move similar to the fast charging network the company currently employs in Japan.  Nissan tells InsideEVs that these dealer-based stations will all be based on the west coast.

And yes, Nissan also let us know that the 500 new fast charging stations all use the existing CHAdeMO standard.

It looks like SAE and the new Combo plug system (that currently is still waiting on its first public fast charging station) is in for a much tougher battle in the US than they originally expected.

You can read Nissan’s official release on the program here.

 

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25 responses to "Nissan To Triple US Fast Charging Infrastructure By Adding 500 Units In Next 18 Months"

  1. SteveT says:

    Perfect!!!!!! This is exactly what we need more of in this country. Companies having the confidence to put out the infrastructure knowing the electric cars are coming

  2. evnow says:

    Frankenplug is great but has 2 problems
    - No EVs
    - No charging stations

    I want to see DCQC everywhere – that is when the EVs will really take off. I’d calculated that entire US can be covered with QC, one every 15 miles (or 15×15 sq miles) for less than the money it cost us subsidizing ethanol every year (which was finally removed this year).

    1. Rick says:

      The best news now would be that SAE is just giving up on their plug for the good of the electric industry, which wont happen.

      How do you buy a Spark electric with the SAE charging option now with all these chademos going up. doesnt make sense

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Well the fact that the combo plug also has Level 2 isn’t a bad reason.

        500 Charging stations isn’t that much of a big deal, there’s 500 gas stations within a 50 mile radius of my house… This is still early entry, but it does annoy me that we don’t just have one standard. So frustrating.

  3. Brian says:

    I’m glad to see the quick charge networks coming to the East. Tesla recently opened two superchargers on the east coast. I hope this spreads up the I-95 corridor all the way to Boston, linking almost all of the major cities in the northeast.

  4. Josh says:

    This is big news. Looks like NRG is dropping AV as their hardware supplier. I know eVgo (I did specifically) had issues with their early CHAdeMO hardware.

    I bet Nissan gave them a great deal on a large order of their CHAdeMO stations to get the charging out there to help sell LEAFs. Most of the cost is the infrastructure around the charger and providing reliable timely maintenance anyway.

    Any info on their pricing model? I know CA forced them to allow something other than subscription in their settlement. Did Nissan give them requirements on pricing models?

  5. ClarksonCote says:

    500 Stations isn’t much of a battle for SAE. Nissan is muddying the waters though for sure. Fighting over this charging standard is starting to anger me; it’s a disservice to all EVs.

    1. Brian says:

      Or was it SAE that did the disservice by waiting too long to release a standard? There isn’t really anything for Nissan to fight. This is pretty much the same as Tesla going it alone with their own Supercharger network.

      5-10 years from now, we’ll look back on this and laugh. Either one of these standards will have become universal, or they’ll all be outdated and replaced with something better. Right now the best service to EVs is providing infrastructure and/or your own personal range extender. Something to break out of the 35-mile radius.

      1. Rick says:

        Yes I tend to agree with Brian—SAE has nothing happening before this & really still doesn’t.

        500 more stations is a big deal for SAE to compete with. AFAIK they are not buying any outlets and putting them in themselves. They need to have major backers like a Nissan behind it.

        Each of the 654 chademo stations install is probably 40,000 each, thats $26,000,000 million to just get to catch up. Ive not heard of GM or anyone putting out a bunch dollars to install SAE EVSEs

        1. Future Leaf Driver says:

          Chademo stations are already popping up and have been for a while now. Let SAE chargers along with HD-DVDs, and Beta tapes go away before more money is wasted on another competing standard unless its WAY cheaper and can have thousands setup by years end.

          Otherwise one standard is all we need. This will just confuse more people thinking of purchasing an EV, since they wait to see which standard and delay EV adoption even longer!

          At least Nissan is making the commitment!

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        SAE did the disservice by not releasing a standard in time, though I don’t think they did that intentionally. A standard was still needed, and they adopted what I feel is much more practical than Chademo.

        That being said, any standard is better than no standard. Only a very small handful of Leafs would have been affected if Nissan adopted the new standard when it came out.

        I personally find the SAE standard much more refined and capable of handling various charging needs in one plug, but that’s JMHO of the tech itself.

    2. GeorgeS says:

      As an ME I think the SAE standard should be adopted.

      However I would like to have a Tesla S so I would not have to share a spot with the riff raff.

  6. BlindGuy says:

    So, how much does it cost to use these QCs? We have 1 free 240v charger somewhat near us; others charge $1 and others $2. I would cringe if I decided to use the $1 charger and it would be much cheaper to use some gas instead of paying $2 per hour for 240v. I know sometimes BEVs don’t have a choice. IMHO more people would be happier to have access to a 120v charge at their workplace.

    1. Nelson says:

      If the price is not cost compatible to charging at home, the QC’s will be sitting idle much of the time. The convenience of charging faster than overnight charging at home doesn’t allow for a high premium in my book.

      NPNS!
      Volt#671

      1. Herm says:

        Its good if they sit idle most of the time.. you really dont want to go for a desperately needed fast charge and a have a line of 4 retired codgers that want to suck up free electrons. You know who you are.. $0.25 a minute seems fair and resonable

        Pay by the minute PARKED so the person that only needs 10 minutes of charge does not overpay or clogs up the parking space.. it would be nice if you could also check on the status of the charger using your smart phone before you actually drove there.. perhaps even a webcam showing everything.

  7. Tom K says:

    It’s about time… Hopefully a few of them are earmarked for SoCal… ;-/

  8. David Murray says:

    Until this battle is over between chademo and SAE, I’d prefer people spend more money getting a decent number of L2 charging stations operational. That is much better than nothing, especially with more and more vehicles looking to support 6KW charging, or in the case of the Tesla 10KW and 20KW, from a standard L2.

    1. Josh says:

      These deployments are positive no matter which plug is at the end (SAE or CHAdeMO). All of the work involved in locating site hosts, permitting, upgrading wiring and panels, installing the communication equipment, etc. will all be sunk costs.

      They can always swap out the charging unit for another in the future relatively cheap ($10k for Nissan’s unit + a day of labor) compared to the initial costs of establishing a L3 charging location.

      1. Brian says:

        I agree with Josh. Plus L2 and L3 are completely different animals. The key is to put L2 where people will park anyway, but L3 where people want to go long distances. L2 at a highway rest stop, for example, is idiotic. But L2 at a mall (such as Destiny, USA) makes a lot of sense.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      I’d go a step further and say many Level 1 stations would also be great in work places and hotels. L1 can go a long way in those environments, and are less expensive to install.

      1. Josh says:

        I agree, workplace L1 would be a huge benefit to many.

        I think it needs to be marketed a little different to employers though. They just need to be asked, “Can you put a few regular 110V outlets near some of the parking?”

        Instead they are getting approached by someone like ChargePoint who wants to sell them expensive commercial grade solutions with communication, billing, and tracking, even for L1.

  9. Suprise Cat says:

    How does the payment works in the US? Can you use every station without pre-registering and waiting weeks for access cards and every city has a different system?

    1. Josh says:

      Every system is different right now in the US, even in the same city. eVgo mentioned in this article uses a monthly subscription in Houston where I live.

      I my situation, I signed a three year contract with them. They paid for the entire installation of L2 at my house, gave me unlimited access to the DCQC network, and cover the electricity costs for the charger at my house. The cost is $89/month, for what is basically unlimited “fuel” for my vehicle and all the equipment.

      The equipment install at my house would have been $2k or $55/month, so I am getting access and all electricity for my car for about $35/month. That is a pretty sweet deal over my previous $250+/month gas bill.

  10. DEF2 says:

    A couple of points, there are DCFC manufacturers building units with both the SAE Type 2 DC connector as well as the CHAdeMO DC connector (Efacec and others). These units can quick charge the entire range of fast charge capable vehicles that will be in the fleet for perhaps the next 25 years. Althought one or the other fast charge protocol will eventually win out, vehicles with the other system will be with us for many years. Make more sense to accommodate everyone.

    Second, there is great confusion between using the term L3 (acutally this should be refered to as level 3 AC charging) which SAE has yet to publish the standard for the connector, and DC fast charging. Under SAE protocols, the current crop of DC fast charge equipment (25 to 50 kW) fall within the level 2 DC environment. Like AC charging, there will be three levels of AC and three levels of DC charging.

    Workplace level 1 (120 volt/20 amp) makes a lot of sense but each of the circuits need to be dedicated single gang receptacle circuits to handle the 12 amp load and installation of low cost level 1 EVSE units would insure that drivers are not pluging in cords and plugs of unknown quality.

    And finally, having multiple access/payment card systems is not the way to go. In my Nissan LEAF I have currently two cards, Blink and ChargePoint, and that is only because the SemaConnect stations (CarCharging Inc) have yet to require payment.

  11. Bill says:

    This is nice. However, the research that I’ve done shows that the only ev charging stations that have been developed, by Nissan, have been at Nissan dealerships. That’s hardly where the demand is located. Its more for drumming up Nissan businees than than improving the ev charging infrastructure.