More than 100 dealerships certified to sell the Nissan LEAF electric car will be getting quick charger stations, according to a press release from Nissan.
The quick chargers will be installed at dealerships in “21 key markets nationwide,” the release said. The effort comes after a 24-dealer pilot program in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and Seattle that allowed Nissan to study how frequently the chargers were used and the impact their use has on dealership operations.
Nissan Director of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy Brendan Jones said, “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. We know that available charging infrastructure opens the doors for more Nissan LEAF sales.”
Indeed. Instead of taking four or more hours to charge to 80% battery capacity on a Level 2 charger, the quick chargers use CHAdeMO charging standards to recharge a depleted vehicle to 80% capacity in roughly 30 minutes, the release said. Think of it as another effort by Nissan to meet the electric vehicle “chicken-and-egg” scenario head-on.
The new chargers may very well bring more sales to Nissan dealerships that receive them. The release quoted Nissan of Downtown Los Angeles General Manager Richard Luengo, who said, “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.
“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,” he added.
The charging stations in the pilot program saw an average of about 4.5 charging sessions per day, totaling “about 5,600″ charging sessions throughout the pilot, Nissan said. “That figure has been steadily on the rise as awareness has increased. Over the period of June 21-July 1, the number of charging sessions increased about 12.5 percent compared to the previous two-week period,” the release added.
Nissan said the first quick chargers in this new expansion will be installed at east coast dealerships this summer, with an expectation that 100 additional quick chargers will be added at dealerships around the country by April 1, 2014. The quick chargers will be supplied by AeroVironment, who will install nearly all of them, the release said.