Today Nissan announced a continuation of its plans to roll out CHAdeMO DC quick chargers in 21 key markets nationwide, including strategic locations on the East Coast this summer.
By April 1, 2014, Nissan expects to have AeroVironment quick chargers installed and operational at 100 additional dealerships. A DC Quick charger is capable of replenishing a Leaf electric car’s battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes or less, depending on charge level when plugged in.
“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,” said Brendan Jones, director of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy. “We know that available charging infrastructure opens the doors for more Nissan LEAF sales.”
In other words, the proverbial “chicken and egg” problem facing electric cars is being tackled head-on by the car seller. To proliferate sales, Nissan is addressing the objection that lack of infrastructure makes things daunting for a would-be EV consumer.
The Leaf is rated for 75 miles electric charge by the EPA with a 90-percent full battery. With a 100-percent charge, it is rated at 84 miles.
With a quick charger in one’s neighborhood, it is conceivable to extend daily range significantly, and some Leaf drivers are reporting upwards of 150 miles daily range and more.
Nissan’s quick charging initiative follows a 24-dealer pilot program first begun in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Seattle.
The company 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.”
Since the pilot began, Nissan reports about 5,600 charging sessions have taken place, with an average of about 4.5 sessions per location per day.
As awareness has increased, so has usage. From June 21-July 1, Nissan said the number of charging sessions increased about 12.5 percent compared to the previous two-week period.