2017 nissan LEAF 01

Nissan Expands EV Charging Network With New Stations

Ah, good news. One of the main problems with EVs, besides the energy density of batteries, is charging when you’re out and about. Finding electricity is easy, but finding higher voltage electricity, which will charge your car faster, is harder. The only real answer seems to be adding dedicated high voltage “fast charging stations” onto our existing electrical grid.

That is actually fairly easy to do, but someone has to go out and do it. Nissan, makers of the LEAF EV, just announced they’ve added two new fast-charge stations in Michigan. Sure, they’re only adding two of them, but it’s a start.

Michigan Stations

Nissan just completed two new DC fast-charge stations in Southeastern Michigan. The fast-charge stations can be found at USA 2 GO convenience stores in the towns of Novi, birthplace of the famous Novi Special (a radical Indy car from back in the day), and Howell, the hometown of Melisa Gilbert, star of Little House on The Prairie. Both are located along the I-96 expressway, which makes for easy access for EV drivers on one of the state’s busiest highways.

Adding the two charging stations bumps Michigan’s total by more than 15 percent in fast-charge EV infrastructure. Each station, installed in collaboration with EVgo and GoSpace, includes both CHAdeMO and CCS DC fast-charging outlets so all EV owners can charge their vehicles. CHAdeMO and CCS DC are the current standards for plugs, sockets, and the like in the EV world, and you’ve got to say this is a nice touch on Nissan’s part. You’ve got a Tesla? You can juice it up at any of the fast-charge stations Nissan has installed. All EVs are welcome.

Photo: Nissan North America.

Nationwide Expanse

There are now 15 DC fast-chargers operating in Michigan, and Nissan had a direct part in the installation of each one. Actually, Nissan has played a part in the installation of over half of all CHAdeMO fast-charge stations to date across the entire country. Nissan has also played a big part in the recently announced I-95 Fast-Charge ARC project that will connect a 500-mile length between Boston and Washington D.C. with fast-charge stations. The Fast-Charge ARC expansion will allow EV drivers a fast, safe, and handy place to charge their vehicles while traveling for a greater distance.

Nissan touts all this as its “commitment to public fast-charging infrastructure,” which it is, but it is also a rather nice bit of green PR. Also, and not coincidentally, there will be a small but growing network of fast charging stations just in time for the upcoming next-generation Nissan LEAF. If you’re in the market, the all-new LEAF will be unveiled globally in September, but no word on when you can buy one.

LEAF I 95 QC Arc Graphic2
Graphic: Nissan North America.

Valuable Partners

Just in case you haven’t heard about either EVgo or GoSpace, EVgo currently operates the largest public fast-charge network in the United States, larger than even Tesla’s vaunted Supercharger network of fast-charging stations. EVgo has over 900 fast-chargers in the U.S. located in 66 of the top-selling automotive markets. And, as you would expect, the EVgo network supports all current charging standards.

EVgo provides a variety of flexible charging plans for drivers such as pay-as-you-go, low-cost membership charging plans, and unlimited charging plans for customers of automaker partners.

GoSpace is more of a middleman, a fixer, if you will, in the EV community. GoSpace serves as a principal architect of EV charger installations. They work closely with AAA and a raft of corporate partners to make sure there are EV Chargers readily available for the market. GoSpace functions as a one-stop shop for everything needed when it comes to EV charging stations, from engineering and permitting to installation.

Timely Fashion

EVs are where gasoline fueled cars were about a century ago. They’re new, rather expensive and, so far, kind of a rich person’s plaything/way to show off. The infrastructure is lacking for EVs, but it was that way back when automobiles started out. Shoot, a lot of the time, you had to buy gasoline from chemistry supply outlets, and even if you could find one, you could only get it a gallon at a time. So at the moment, EV “filling stations” are few in number, and you have to use them fairly often. But give it 20 or 30 years – the equivalent of where automobiles were in the 1930s – and there will probably be high voltage charging stations as common as gas stations.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

Photos, Graphic & Source: Nissan North America.