Nissan Has Some Thoughts On VW’s $2 Billion Settlement Into EV Infrastructure

OCT 27 2016 BY JAY COLE 78

Much has been made of Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion dollar “Dieselgate” settlement, out of which $2.0 billion is being set aside for initiatives to promote the use of zero emissions vehicles in the U.S. over the next 10 years.

To that end, we have already heard from 28-odd charging providers, paranoid that their very existence will be stamped out with so much new “free” cash entering the US to promote zero emission vehiclesif those monies to be invested are left to the discretion of Volkswagen.  A fair point for sure.

Georgia Power's dual-standard DCFC station

Georgia Power’s dual-standard DCFC station

Most notably, ChargePoint penned a court filing with the Department of Justice, saying the huge amount of new capital could “drown out” the industry, and as a result, they would like some stipulations put in place over the way the money is dispersed; no doubt hopefully getting in on some of that action along the way.

Now we hear from Nissan on the subject. The company actually says the settlement is a good thing overall for the segment, but also wants to look out for its own interests (not surprisingly) at the same time; as specifically, VW backs the CCS Combo protocol, which Nissan plug-in products can’t use because of being tied to the CHAdeMO DC fast charging system.

Not to be outdone by the charging network providers of today, Nissan sent its own letter to the courts, saying that the automaker wants to “serve as an ally” so that the money is used, “in a way that is beneficial for the entire industry”.

Via Autobloggreen while discussing the letter, Nissan said:

“We believe that this funding could be instrumental in supporting a continued ‘Infrastructure for All’ approach that benefits all automotive OEMs and importantly, increases the pace of EV adoption.” 

Nissan goes on to point out that the company has invested huge sums of money into an open fast charging standard in the US, and that the company has “deployed more than half of the 50kW dual CHAdeMO and CCS equipment available in the market today”.  As such, Nissan would like to see new money that is put into charging infrastructure to also include both CCS and CHAdeMO protocols, as well as being an open-standard for access.

Nissan's plan for VW's $2 billion settlement includes no love for hydrogen refueling stations, calling them "

Nissan’s plan for VW’s $2 billion settlement includes no love for hydrogen refueling stations; calling them so expensive that they could “dilute capital available to make significant progress on EV infrastructure expansion”.

As it stands after the settlement details are officially sussed out, $800 million will go to California and will be overseen by CARB, while the balance ($1.2 billion) heads out nationwide via EPA oversight.

Nissan’s suggestions on how the money should be used is below:

Nissan: Public fast charging (especially on highways) should take priority over all other EV infrastructure/promotion plans

Nissan: Public fast charging (especially on highways) should take priority over all other EV infrastructure/promotion plans

1.) Funding should be allocated to projects that are led, organized and managed at a national level to avoid a patchwork of initiatives driven by individual states or local entities that are not holistic and/or coordinated.

2.) Funding that supports Fast Charging must include multi-standard/open-standard equipment (including CHAdeMO).

3.) Public DC Fast Charging should be prioritized over other efforts, and funding should be allocated towards areas of the ZEV industry that suffer the largest market failures due to limited short-term ROI leading to a lack of private-sector investment.

4.) Funding should address the need for a National High-Speed Fast Charging Network along interstates.

5.) All networked equipment funded under the ZEV Investment Commitment should support the Open Charge Point Protocol (OPCC) to allow choice between network providers, and it should allow for open credit card payment methods (EMV and mobile payments) without requiring drivers to sign-up for proprietary network memberships.

6.) Utilities should continue to invest in pro-EV policies and programs given the sector will be one of the largest beneficiaries of the growth of electric refueling.

7.)Funding for hydrogen refueling may dilute capital available to make significant progress on EV infrastructure expansion due to the resource intensiveness of hydrogen refueling.

All-new Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in getting a boost (arrives next June)

All-new Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in getting a boost (arrives next June)

Of particular interest to us (and something we have been pounding the table for quite some time on) is #5, stating that all charging spots should adhere to OPCC, meaning no closed systems, or “walled garden” membership systems are needed to acquire a charge – just a credit card.

We know all the charge networks love the membership system, and they feel that is part of their lifeblood – but at the end of the day, it really impairs the national public charging infrastructure.

Also of note is #7 – which is Nissan basically throwing shade on hydrogen tech, and the several million dollar per station cost to set-up fuel cell refueling points.

Overall, we tend to agree with Nissan on the suggestions it is making in regards to the $2 billion worth of settlement dollars from VW.

Autobloggreen, hat tip to Yogurt!

Categories: Charging, Nissan, Volkswagen


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78 Comments on "Nissan Has Some Thoughts On VW’s $2 Billion Settlement Into EV Infrastructure"

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All good points. What the US need more than anything is a nation-wide completely covered network of fast dc charging. This would remove a huge barrier to EV adoption. Let’s just get rid of this problem now, build 150 kW charging stations (both CCS and CHAdeMO) along every highway and be done with it. 150 kW should be enough for quite some time, today’s batteries can’t handle much more anyway and it will take a long time (10+ years) before batteries becomes significantly bigger (150+ kWh) to require even faster charging.

After suffering through Nissan’s stupid no charge to charge program, I doubt any of their suggestion. If they’re pushing for Chademo, why not Tesla superchargers as well? And it sounds like you want government controlled DCFC; that’s the worst idea (or best idea if you want to kill EV).

Here’s a better, simpler idea: 50% off DCFC equipment price for anyone wanting to put up 24/7 publicly accessible DCFC, but not the equipment made by them. I mean anyone, even Pushmi-Pullyu and Sven. The operator can charge whatever they want, but not free. Like college cost, DCFC manufacturers will jack up the price and have bigger profit initially. But that will also fuel more players to come to DCFC market, and foster innovation. This will also break Tesla monopoly on supercharger equipment (spin off?).

Something else I forgot: 50% off DCFC addition to any existing EV. There are many cars without DCFC that are perfectly capable like Fiat 500e and Rav4EV that can be made into a real EV with DCFC. Then they won’t need to drive their gas cars as much, if at all. Such is the case with me and SparkEV.

I love it!!

Please put me on the list for a DCFC on my RAV4 EV ;). We could take the RAV4 on trips opposed to our ICE.


Fast DC charging for your 2012-2014 Toyota RAV4 EV is not “a list”. It’s an actual product:

Here’s the link from the RAV4 EV forum:

Here’s a nice article from one of our customers:

and another article:

Here’s a map of where current customers are around the world:

Yellow – not scheduled for delivery

Red – Alpha testers

Orange – Installed, operational

White – shipped, not installed

I don’t see why Nissan would push Tesla’s proprietary technology, that doesn’t make any sense to me!

Where did I state that I want government sponsored chargers? I wrote nothing of the sort. However, the VW deal is with the government so some involvement is unavoidable.

If the money was used for offering a straight up 50% discount all that would happen is that the price of the equipment would rise 100%. I think a better idea is to build charging sites and then auction them off to existing (or new for that matter) charging companies. That way they are priced according to what the market thinks every location is worth while the VW money covers the difference in cost vs market value.

Equipment cost may rise, but I doubt it’ll be 100%, at least not for existing models of 50 kW units. Since equipment business will be so profitable, that will spur others to join the game, and eventual lowering of price and more competition. Maybe even GM might join, and given their excellent engineering talent, they could do some serious good for EV charging infrastructure.

Since the stipulation is that makers cannot be providers, it will also benefit providers like eVgo, chargepoint, etc. In turn, EV drivers benefit. It’s win-win-win for everyone. Oh, and let’s not forget benefits for wonderful EV after market companies like quickchargepower as well as thousands of Fiat 500e out there.

But when you say “build it along highway”, you can’t do that with the money other than government mandate. Ultimately, it will have to be companies that decide where to put them in order to make EV infrastructure sustainable.

What sort of trouble have you been having with no charge to charge? I’m curious.

Free charging incentivize people to use DCFC rather than charging at home and resulting waits at DCFC for everyone. They plug in whenever they’re near DCFC, and take full 30 minutes whether needed or not. Free charging SUCKS!

I never had or caused a problem and I live in an area with a lot of LEAFs. But it also has a lot of DCQCs. Used free Chademos 100s of times in the past few years. Great program, even though I didn’t write a blog about it. Go Nissan, but do announce LEAF 2.0 specs soon, please!

DCFC at every interstate rest stop please.

Yes, I agree with you, but it’s not currently possibly to do so on Federal highway right of ways at rest areas.


Those rest stops would certainly seem to be the best locations to start a nationwide rollout. I’m guessing you mean there is some regulatory or legal obstacle?

Agree about the membership issue. It’s really problematic and expensive to have several memberships. In Europe, I wonder how people manage to drive from one country or region to the next. Probably does not happen much for non Tesla owners.

I understand that in Europe cross network roaming is possible to some extent. In the U.S. its been almost a year since the ROEV association was formed and still nothing to show for it.

“…while the balance ($1.2 billion) heads out nationwide via EPA oversight.”

That means 10%+ of the $1.2 will be spent on a 2 year government study which then another year and another 10% will be spent on a gov commission that makes recommendations based on the study findings then another 2 years and another 10% spent on the bidding/management of the work…the remainder 70% will be contract awarded at 2X the per average normal charge point cost…thus resulting in only 35% of the $1.2 going into actual charge point infastrucrure which likely will be placed at locations that few are likely to use.


It doesn’t matter which country you live in, it’s always the same, no doubt here in the UK it would be no different,

They have mastered the art of dragging out decision making & squandering money like nobody else,

It’s why they are working for the public sector, the private sector would never employ these people !

…Um difficult to argue with that, so I won’t.

Privatization is working out so well in America that it’s already falling apart. Highway-operation privatization is stalled. Studies show that privatized and charter schools only show better results than public schools by cherry-picking better students. And privatized prisons are nothing more than a human-rights atrocity storing up cash to lobby for the right to institute slave labor. The Federal government has just frozen the use of private prisons.

And the right-wing response? Abolish the idea of public goods entirely, starting with the Environmental Protection Agency. Because we can all be trusted to make sacrifices on our own once we’ve heard the science, right?

Just because abolishing public schools and turning prisons into for-profit enterprises are astoundingly bad ideas, that doesn’t mean the government should take over building out EV charging infrastructure. In fact, we’ve seen exactly what happens when they do so, in certain municipalities. Since there is no profit involved, there is no incentive to maintain the chargers, and they soon fall into disrepair and become useless.

It’s equally stupid to argue that the government shouldn’t run anything, or that it should run everything. Both extremes also ignore real world examples pretty firmly.

The EPA is not doing or managing any of the work. Their only legal role under the settlement is to review VW’s investment plans to make sure VW is spending in ways that are allowed under the court settlement decree.

Trust me…mega red tape and cost will be envolved:

“…This money will be used to establish a mitigation trust that will be administrated through a mitigation trustee, with allocations to specific state, territorial, and tribal government beneficiaries to use for specific NOx reducing actions (eligible mitigation actions)…”


The $2.7 billion mitigation trust is part of the same overall VW settlement but it is separate and independent of the $2.0 billion Zero Emission Vehicle Initiative that this InsideEVs article is discussing.

The national ZEV Initiative spending is entirely allocated and managed by VW but must fit within the categories set forth in the settlement agreement.


Give it a break Nissan. Your tech is losing. Everyone should just go for 150 kW then 350 kW CCS. How’s throwing $ 2 B at promoting EVs an issue?


Chevy would love to see the $$$ going toward the CCS charging network.

So would VW, and the 6 other automakers that signed onto the SAE standard.

Nissan should have taken my advice 2 years ago and switched over to CCS back then. They are just going against the flow. There are now CCS cars from Chevy, BMW, VW, and Ford.

Nissan kinda got stabbed in the back by Honda and Toyota that smoked the Hydrogen pipe dream and thus did not release Chademo cars in the USA.

The agreement already includes all public chargers standards, which would be J1772, CHAdeMO and CCS Combo 1 in the USA.

Tesla Supercharger is not public, nor is the Tesla Destination chargers, therefore I don’t expect those to be included.

One thing Nissan left out is higher power charging (100-350kW). With all this money, it would be criminal to say that there aren’t 350kW capable cars today, so let’s just make the minumim of today tech.

Remember, that 100-350kW charger will charge your 2011 LEAF just fine, while also charging that future car that can accept 200kW, or even 350kW.

I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said.

While I like the idea of 350 KW charging stations in theory, it’s not practical to overbuild them so much when it may be a decade or two before any car can use that.

Rather they should make sure this money goes to support next-gen public format chargers that operate at 100 KW or more.

Definitely agree that building out a network of 50 KW stations would not be a great use of funds now as that is not really enough to enable convenient long distance travel.

BenG said:

“…they should make sure this money goes to support next-gen public format chargers that operate at 100 KW or more.”

But 100 kW isn’t “next-gen”, it’s current generation. Most of the new PEVs coming out now and within the next couple of years, will be able to charge at about 150 kW. Yeah, I know that the Bolt won’t, at least not initially; hopefully that will be upgraded for year 2 of production.

I don’t know what figure would be best to use. 350 kW might be, as you say, a bit too much. But I think you’re wrong to say it will be 10 years before that’s needed! The tech is advancing pretty rapidly. 350 kW might turn out to be the right figure, five years from now. And whatever is installed, surely we should plan for it to not become obsolete in only five years!

Yea, I guess 150 KW is the number to aim for.

Though I’m not sure what EVs you are talking about coming out that will accept 150 KW? Will there actually be a mass produced EV in the next few years that will charge that fast?

Virtually all current Tesla cars charge up to 120 kW today… 2016 tech.

I would hate to see this money wasted on useless hydrogen stations.


Don’t give them any Ideas !!

The Settlement is final, for TDI owners. Do we know when it is for the EV promoting, 2bb?

The EV infrastructure spending is part of the same settlement.

Spotted this today about the Nissan e-NV200 and thought it might interest one or two ?

Why should 800 million go to California and probably a good portion of the rest to other carb states. I thought the point would be to have a better charging structure for the whole US and therefore help to promote ev adoption in all states, not just carb states.

Yea, California is probably the state with the least need for this money.

Well, we do have BY FAR the most EVs so there is good reason to support California.

I think they should install 150KW chargers no matter what standard. Don’t waste time on 50KW chargers that will soon be outdated.


Yes and therefore you have a lesser need for incentives than most other states.

Because CA was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against VW and because of its unique role under federal law in helping to regulate car emissions. It is also the state where about 40% of national EV sales are made.

I don’t understand #2.
This is the perfect opportunity to eliminate inconsistency and choose ONE standard. We don’t have different nozzles at gas stations why should we have different plugs at charging stations?


Last time I checked there were both gasoline and diesel pumps at the gas station.

But all pumps dispensing unleaded gasoline use a standard dispensing nozzle. That is a great benefit to all gasmobile drivers and all gasmobile manufacturers, as all gasmobiles can fill up at any gas station.

Imagine how difficult it would be if there were three different types of nozzles, and each gas station only used one type of nozzle, and every car could only accept one! That’s the situation we have now for PEVs (Plug-in EVs), with CHAdeMO vs CCS vs Tesla Supercharger.

I very much hope that this money from VW will be used to establish an actual EV charging standard, ending the current situation of three competing formats. In fact, I think that should be the primary goal of using this money.

The agreement specifies otherwise.

The agreement will support CHAdeMO.

The agreement is to not be used as a tool to provide a competitive advantage to a charging standard supported by Volkswagen.

Sorry, Charlie.

“Imagine how difficult it would be if there were three different types of nozzles, and each gas station only used one type of nozzle, and every car could only accept one! That’s the situation we have now for PEVs (Plug-in EVs), with CHAdeMO vs CCS vs Tesla Supercharger.”

I don’t think that analogy is quite right. Nissan is asking for charging stations that support both CCS and CHADEMO so each “gas station will accept both nozzles”. Teslas will be able to use the stations via the Tesla Chademo adapter.

Proprietary equipment is the only American way to do business. A dozen EV manufacturers, a dozen systems.
Unless Congress, the President and US Supreme court order uniformity, oh yes God too, business will not cooperate with each other all for the greed of profit.
Little do they know uniformity will drive more sales and more sales leads to more profit. Then the manufacturers can focus on vehicle content!

You have no idea how companies operate. They WANT open standard. Wifi isn’t due to some government mandate, but companies coming together to hammer out open standard they could all agree on, because they know open is profitable for everyone. But if it’s government mandate, it will suck, probably stuck at 1 Mbps forever if it came to market at all in the first place.

Same is true with DCFC since companies came together to hammer out a common standard, except CCS camp didn’t want Chademo for whatever reason (most likely due to bigger port opening). Glacial pace of CCS caused Tesla to go their own route, and if it was government mandate, we still may not have any DCFC or it’d suck so badly that you wouldn’t want to use it.

Do you want to know what the world will be like if it’s government mandate? Just look at North Korea.

Looks like you don’t know anything about Wi-Fi’s history…
I worked years in computer networking tech, at the companies making the chips, and was member of standards committees myself.

There were a lot of competing proprietary standards earlier, and even before that, there was a big gamble whether the leading tech for home networks would be cabled Ethernet, phone-line Ethernet, powerline networking or wireless. Companies spent billions on failed investments in the space.

It took yours for the dust to settle: mostly WiFi, some Ethernet and powerline is seeing limited adoption the last couple fo years.

Having been personally involved with wifi and standards, I’m well aware of its history. I even have the old pre-wifi wireless home networking stuff. Gawd, that was awful. If wifi was mandated, that’s all we’d have today.

Talk to any wireless equipment makers and they will tell you, they have to be standard compliant and want to put their latest and greatest into the standard that others can also make. That standard arose out of necessity to make money and cooperation among companies, not due to any mandate.

Original post makes it sound like the companies just hide things to “trump” others (I hate that term now!), but that definitely isn’t the case. Companies would rather compete as a player in much larger market than a monopoly in a tiny one.


VHS vs. Betamax. Two opposing standards, it took one company losses of millions of dollars to realize their mistake. Companies sometimes refuse to consider one standard, even if having one standard was clearly the best outcome.

The VW settlement allows CHAdeMO and CCS to be supported as non-proprietary designs but prohibits VW from spending to support proprietary plug designs (either Tesla’s or any future VW-only plug).

No government mandate was necessary to establish the DVD format. The industry managed to avoid any VHS vs. BetaMAX type “war” in that respect.

I’m sure you can find many other cases where industries managed to establish a universal standard, without needing any government mandate.

The government should only step in when the industry can’t agree on a standard. But then, arguably we have reached that point with EV charging.

Article sez:

“Not to be outdone by the charging network providers of today, Nissan sent its own letter to the courts…”

The AutoBlog story says Nissan’s letter was sent to the DOJ.

An overview of the details and impact of the EV infrastructure aspects of the VW settlement can be found at:

It was written several days ago after the final court hearing and just before the proposed settlement was approved without modification by the judge.

Nissan needs to just bite the bullet and switch over to CCS in the USA. They are pretty much the only Chademo company in the USA. They can’t go it alone. Pull the plug on Chademo.

(Paging Tony Williams. 😉 )


These wild west style charging systems can all be wiped out in an instant if North America adopted a single standard (CCS for example)and told importers to comply accordingly before their EVs can be sold here. Problem solved. That’s what the government should be doing to promote EV adoption – the rest will follow.

The German auto makers and their supporting politicians tried that both in Europe (EU), and solely within Germany.

They weren’t successful.

This did happen at least once in the US… the state of California CARB required the now obsolete J1772-2001 “Avcon” plugs. Huge failure.

J1772-2009 / 2010 has been adopted without government mandate. There quite obviously will be at least three DC charging standards in the US, much like multiple liquid fuels for cars (diesel, gas 87, 89, etc).

A government mandate to pick one over the others is just not going to happen. It didn’t happen for gasoline or diesel, either.

I’d be curious to know what percentage will go for H2 and what percentage will go for electric?

I’d prefer electric but I doubt they’ll spend any huge amount of cash that way.

The hydrogen lobby is very organized and successful at sucking cash out of governments and others.

I won’t be surprised if Volkswagen ultimately spends the majority of the money on hydrogen, announcing it as the savior of the future.

This reminds me of the VHS and BetaMax wars, or the HDD vs Blu-ray wars. Seems like CCS had won, Nissan just needs to get on with it and change standards.

Using your credit card to pay is a no brainer, can’t understand why a company has not already done that.

Tesla could also disrupt this space of they opened their SC to everyone. They already have a good reputation, but I don’t think they designed their system for non Tesla use, so retro fitting the bits to allow payment might be too hard for them.
Fun and games to come in this space.

CCS is the standard for the US and Europe. Nissan needs to switch to CCS if they want to have a future in the global EV marketplace.

Remembering that ALL other auto manufacturers(besides Nissan) are adopting CCS in the dozens of new EVs planned to launch in the US over the next few years. The same with the rest of the world….besides China with their own standard and Japan with their own.

Whether VW installs a ton of CCS chargers now or a combination of all other fast charger providers do the same over a longer period of time, Nissan would be in the same spot.

Nissan knows this and the switch to CCS is most certain with the next gen Leaf.

Thankfully, this is complete bulls***.

CHAdeMO is an official EU charging standard, just like CCS.

CHAdeMO outnumbers CCS in every market, without exception.

CHAdeMO is System A of international standards.

CCS doesn’t exist in Japan, China, most of the world.

CCS is regional in two markets: Combo 1 in North America (really, just the US), and Combo 2 in Europe.

When the next LEAF doesn’t have CCS, I guess we will know for sure, eh?

Surprisingly, I find myself in agreement with everything Nissan said, except for their insistence on supporting CHAdeMO. It is CSS that is the forward-looking standard. CHAdeMO is already outdated, and will soon be hopelessly obsolete. No point in requiring that VW waste some of that infrastructure money on supporting an outdated format.

Can you describe what makes any part of CHAdeMO “obsolete” in your opinion?

It’s not power. Both CCS and CHAdeMO have exactly the same power outputs (50kW, 100kW, 150kW, 350kW)

It’s not installations. CHAdeMO wins in every market.

It’s not some feature (CHAdeMO can do V2G)

It’s not non-interchangeable plugs (CHAdeMO is the same worldwide, while CCS is regional with non-interchangable plugs)

It’s not the inlet size (CCS is physically larger)

So, what is it?

If it only adds a few percentage to the costs, so why abuse the drivers of the most popular BEV in the USA? Not supporting CHAdeMO would generate negative PR “EV owners abandoned by government’s choice of another charging standard” that would make plug-ins look bad and hinder their adoption.

It’s not an option for VW to not support CHAdeMO due to the language in the agreement.

Non sequitur.

Whether the naysayers like it or not here is what is most likely to happen:

1) hydrogen stations get a whole bunch of money

2) DC quick charging stations are installed that have both CHAdeMO and CCS Combo 1.

The only real thing that is in question is how intelligently dispersed the DC charging infrastructure is.

I have very low expectations, since 40% of this money goes to one state. I suspect that much like today, states that or not CARB-ZEV will tend not to get much love.

The chances of them building an intelligent 150 kW min (up to 350kW capable) charging network spaced at 40 to 80 miles apart along major travel corridors throughout the US is virtually nil.

The only saving grace is that this must be reviewed every 30 months, but even then I have low expectations. Maybe if Tesla continues to hand German auto manufacturers (in general) their ass every year with their intelligently designed Supercharger network and very capable cars, maybe Volkswagen will pull their head out of their posterior and build a true Supercharger competitor with CCS and CHAdeMO.

Doubtful, however.

Tony: Although I see the logic in your statement about hydrogen, why would VW invest in hydrogen when they have no Fuel Cell cars? Yes, they are not permitted to directly benefit from the settlement, but indirectly(simply by virtue of selling BEV’s)they could advance their position in the EV market. They “seem” to have invested in the technology, with all kinds of claims about the number of EV’s in the works. You may very well be right, but I hope that this time you are wrong.

If it were solely VW’s decision, I agree with you; they probably won’t waste money on hydrogen.

But the folks who drew up the settlement definitely had help from their deeply entrenched lobbyists in the hydrogen community .

There is a reason that it is referred to as “zero emission” and not Electric Vehicle in the settlement. If you think the well organized hydrogen lobby doesn’t see this as potentially their LAST best chance to get H2 stations in the other 49 sates, let me suggest otherwise.

Folks, vigilance is required here. If there is a public meeting about this that you can attend, go and speak.