Nissan & Kanematsu Selected By NEDO To Analyze Electric Car Usage In California

OCT 26 2015 BY MARK KANE 13

2016 Nissan LEAF & CHAdeMO fast charger

2016 Nissan LEAF & CHAdeMO fast charger

NEDO asks Nissan and Kanematsu to analyze EV use in California

NEDO asks Nissan and Kanematsu to analyze EV use in California

Nissan and Kanematsu (Japan-based trading company) are moving forward on a charging infrastructure study conducted in Northern California by the New Energy Industrial Technology and Development Organization (NEDO), Japan’s largest public R&D management organization.

The two companies were selected by NEDO for the project after the previous preliminary study.

NEDO intends to analyze electric vehicle use patterns. An undisclosed number of DC fast chargers will be installed in cooperation with NRG EVgo.

Project objectives

The State of California promotes the widespread use of zero emission vehicles. Auto manufacturers with in-state sales above a certain level are obliged to sell a fixed ratio of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and EV users enjoy preferential treatment, including use of priority traffic lanes. California ranks number one among US states for private EV use, with most cars used for shopping and city driving.

The NEDO project will seek to encourage the use of electric vehicles for longer distances and inter-city driving by installing and maintaining multiple quick chargers along specific inter-city routes. Nissan and Kanematsu will collect and analyze data on EV driving patterns in California, and create a suitable model to help promote more extensive use of electric vehicles in the state and beyond.

NEDO asks Nissan and Kanematsu to analyze EV use in California

NEDO asks Nissan and Kanematsu to analyze EV use in California

Project overview

With the help of the California state government, and U.S. utility company NRG eVgo*, Nissan and Kanematsu plan to place additional quick chargers at suitable locations along inter-city freeways in Northern California, and use project-specific information services to guide EV users to the most efficient chargers along the route. The companies will then assess whether the combined hardware/software model can successfully encourage users to drive longer distances in EVs.

Nissan’s role in the project will be to install and operate the quick chargers, and analyze any changes in EV use that result.

Kanematsu will provide real-time information services to EV users. Kanematsu will also investigate potential business applications for real-time data and big data relating to EVs and EV charging systems.

Nissan is the world’s leading manufacturer of EVs, with sales of the Nissan LEAF totaling 192,600 units in more than 40 countries as of the end of September 2015. By collecting Nissan LEAF data from various countries, Nissan’s Global Data Center is creating a broad picture of worldwide EV driving and charging patterns. Nissan plans to use the results of the preliminary study, along with its GDC data, to choose the best locations for the project’s quick chargers.

Kanematsu has been working with leading Japanese and US companies to develop potential machine-to-machine (M2M) and internet of things (IoT) business applications for automobiles. For this project, Kanematsu will work with Nissan to develop a real-time information service for EV users, and test its potential as a commercial M2M/IoT solution. Nissan and Kanematsu will also consider how in-vehicle hardware and M2M/IoT solutions can contribute to the creation of the ideal connected car equipped with highly functional systems and services.

A positive outcome for the project would benefit consumers in the US by dramatically improving the usefulness and convenience of EVs. Encouraging the adoption of similar systems in other parts of the world could also promote broader electric vehicle ownership worldwide.

*Established in 2011; the biggest charging infrastructure operator in United Sates

Categories: Charging, General, Nissan

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13 Comments on "Nissan & Kanematsu Selected By NEDO To Analyze Electric Car Usage In California"

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Looks like someone is finally listening to our complaints about the lack of charging support for intercity travel.

I would like to see more focus groups where they talk to people that own EVs. I think the infrastructure would allow more reliable mid-distance travel if the QCDC network had more than 1 or 2 EVSEs per station and they charged a nominal fee for its use–say 15 to 30 cents per KWh to reduce the number of cheapskates camping out at charging stations to save a buck.

Having used DCFC for frequent intercity travel LA/OC/SD, I can tell you that it’s not lack of DCFC. It’s due to bad behavior poorly charging EV: Leaf. If you’re waiting at DCFC for a Leaf, you’re most likely getting Leafed, probably get Leafracked. I defined getting Leafed here:

http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/10/jerks-all-around-us-iced-leafed.html

Question is, will Nissan include this finding in their report that could hurt Leaf and their policy reputation?

Variable rate charging for low income or time limits are most effective.

NRG has already covered the southern section of the blue highlighted routes. They recently opened Freedom Stations in Gilroy, Salinas, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz. Salinas and Watsonville have the usual complement of Nissan CHAdeMO and ABB Dual Standard (CHAdeMO + SAE Combo) chargers. The Gilroy and Santa Cruz installations each have two BTC Dual Standard chargers. However, these BTC chargers have a known incompatibility with the VW e-Golf. NRG has not made any progress on this issue since August when the Sunnyvale Fresh & Easy site opened using these BTC chargers.

Wish they were conducting the study and installing the stations in central California. Right now that’s an EV public charging wasteland. I bet putting reliable charging infrastructure there would increase adoption.

What we really need is someone to cover the 101 corridor to bridge the industry standard (non-supercharger) fast charge wasteland between Salinas and Buellton/Santa Ynez. There are rumors of fast chargers coming to San Luis Obispo, but we really need some in places like Soledad, King City, Bradley, Paso Robles or Atascadero. As far as I know, there are no current plans for this corridor. The CEC has already funded the I-5 and CA-99 corridors, but they are yet to be deployed. The VW/BMW press release also claims coverage of the Central Valley and connection to the WCEH in Oregon/Washington.

This is kind of to little too late in that if you look at the map the bulk of the new chargers will go to the dense charger network around San Fransisco. Also they keep building new chargers on the west side of Sacramento but they have not opened up a single new charger around lake Tahoe. They really should try building some type of none Tesla system from Sacramento to Salt Lake City and Denver.

I totally agree! We need DCQC in Colfax and Truckee to enable trips to Tahoe and Reno.

Its great that they are trying to fine tune the chargers in California, but much of the rest of the country doesn’t have the basics. I would love to have the problem of the available chargers being too busy. If I drive north, south, east, or west, there are no Chademo quick chargers. On most routes, it would be hard to find level 2.

There’s one very important question I hope this study answers; will the chargers get used more and make more money if the chargers are clustered in cities where people can also home charge or along highways where people have to use the chargers when traveling on longer trips. I have always argued that chargers along highways make much sense and should make much more money. Hopefully this study will show that it makes much more financial sense to put chargers along highways and the providers will start installing chargers that will actually allows us to go places.

Almost all DCFC is done by Leaf with no charge to charge programs. It’ll be impossible to tell how they’ll behave if they actually had to pay to charge. Would you charge your EV if it’s costing you more than 1.75MPG gas car? Well, Nissan Leaf owners with no chage to charge do that regularly. See my blog on getting Leafracked to see this effect.

I think the answer to that is pretty obviously that fast chargers along routes will get used more than fast city chargers where work and home charging is an option. City chargers are only used when they’re free – otherwise, who wants to pay more to charge outside of home/work? At the same time, long-distance chargers will only be used when cars have around 200 mile range because few people are willing to drive in ~60 mile bursts followed by ~30 minute charges, especially if Nissan and friends only install one or two chargers at each location so people can’t rely on them working or being available without a long line. Conducting a study to reach these obvious conclusions is just wasting time.