As exciting as electric car technology has become over the past few years, it’s potential will always be limited without a global network of reliable charging stations. To this end, Nissan recently announced that it will donate 400 new quick charging stations to electric vehicle (EV) charging operators in Europe.
While today’s drivers appreciate the idea of a fully-electric vehicle, the inconsistent placement of charging stations often encourages the fear that they could become stranded if traveling too far from home. Nissan hopes that providing this boost to the European-wide Quick Charge (QC) network will help convince more drivers that owning a fully-electric vehicle like the Nissan LEAF can be both safe and economical.
Recharging a Nissan LEAF with a quick charger takes a little longer than it takes to refuel a conventional car and is significantly cheaper. And by establishing a broad Quick Charger network, drivers will be able to travel longer distances in a day.
To decide where these coveted quick charging stations will be placed, Nissan began an application and selection process early last month. Winners will be awarded chargers according to how they fulfill a strict list of criteria developed by Nissan. These include convenient and accessible charger location, installation starting February 2012 and free or discounted charging for all Nissan LEAF customers for at least one year.
The new quick chargers are engineered to the CHAdeMo standard and can deliver up to 50 kW of high voltage direct current (DC) electricity, according to a statement. The CHAdeMO – Charge to Move – standard was developed and agreed by a coalition of Japanese companies including Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries. Nissan’s QCs, therefore, can be used not just by drivers of Nissan LEAF but also by drivers of EVs from Mitsubishi, Citroen and Peugeot.
The move follows an agreement between Nissan and five of Europe’s leading utility and EV infrastructure supply companies to speed up the provision of the latest quick chargers developed by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., which are cheaper – up to half the previous price – and smaller than before.
The target is to have a network of quick charge stations across Europe with several thousand units in place by the end of 2012 and tens of thousands by 2015.
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