Nissan to expand Leaf quick-charger program at dealerships

Nissan will outfit dealerships in 21 markets with fast electric car chargers to serve drivers of its Leaf.

The DC quick charger is a significant upgrade to ChargePoint America’s Level 2 stations, which can take about four hours to fully recharge the car. Level 1 charging -- plugging into a standard household outlet -- takes between eight and 16 hours.

But the DC units are expected to get an electric car back up to 80% capacity within 30 minutes. Nissan is targeting “key markets” around the country. The first dealerships to benefit from the expansion will be on the East Coast, including New York and Washington, D.C. A Nissan spokesman said the expansion would also include Midwestern markets in Chicago and St. Louis.

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The automaker wants to soothe consumer concerns about charging hassles, said Brendan Jones, Nissan’s director of electric vehicle infrastructure strategy. “We know that available charging infrastructure opens the doors for more Nissan Leaf sales,” he said.

Nissan has studied the average use patterns at 24 dealerships participating in a pilot program that began in April. Dealers in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and Seattle saw recharging sessions on average 4.5 times each day.

Charging partner AeroVironment, based in Monrovia, is to provide chargers and handle the bulk of the installations in this next phase, expected to be completed by April 2014. 


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