Nissan is accelerating plans for a European-wide Quick Charge (QC) network for electric vehicles by giving 400 new quick charging stations free of charge to EV charging operators.
Strategically located, these new points will boost existing networks and give EV customers greater freedom and flexibility by effectively extending the range of their car.
By recharging batteries in a fraction of the time usually needed this radical step will help drive more customers towards electric vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF. The advanced lithium ion batteries in Nissan LEAF can be recharged from 0 to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes using a quick charger.
Although a range between charges of up to 175km will be enough for most Nissan LEAF owners, the spread of Quick Charger networks will allow drivers to travel longer distances in a day. Recharging a Nissan LEAF with a quick charger takes a little longer than it takes to refuel a conventional car and is significantly cheaper.
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.
To kick start this ambitious programme Nissan is now announcing it will give 400 units away to Zero Emissions Mobility partners and volunteering companies in Europe, all of which are enthusiastic backers of the company’s ambitious electro-mobility plans.
A selection process started on October 10th after which 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.
‘With a significant number of QCs available across Europe, EV owners will be able to recharge quickly no matter where they go. We believe this is essential for the mass adoption of EVs,’ said Pierre Loing, Vice President Product Planning & Zero Emission Business Unit, Nissan International SA.
Quick Charge Technology
The new quick chargers are engineered to the CHAdeMo standard and can deliver up to 50 kW of high voltage direct current (DC) electricity. 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 QC stations are also ‘AC ready’ to support the arrival of EVs from Alliance partner Renault designed to 43kW AC quick charge standards. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is promoting infrastructure deployment based on AC-DC Mix Quick Charger strategy.
Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 12,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 528,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Japanese brand in Europe.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokahama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands.
Winner of both the European and World Car of the Year awards in 2011, deliveries of Nissan LEAF are well underway in the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. Order books have been opened in Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark with deliveries expected to start in those countries shortly.
The family hatchback, which has been awarded a 5 Star safety rating by Euro NCAP, is powered by an in-house developed compact electric motor and inverter in the front of the car which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. It comes fully equipped with features such as air conditioning, satellite navigation, a parking camera, a quick charge socket and innovative smart-phone connectivity.