Nissan announced today that it will launch a DC quick charger capable of charging all compatible plug-in vehicles, which can be adapted for public, commercial, or fleet use. Developed by Nissan and Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation, the new charger is intended to be a low-cost, compact charging unit for the U.S. market. Installations of the charger are set to begin early next year.
The charger uses the CHAdeMO quick-charging standard, and supports all plug-in vehicles equipped with such a connector. The charger operates on a 480-volt current, and Nissan says it can charge a Leaf with a fully-depleted battery to an 80-percent charge in under 30 minutes. With a starting price of $9900, Nissan’s quick charger costs roughly a third of other comparable chargers available today, according to the Japanese automaker. Nissan also says the unit is about half the size of current quick chargers, while still retaining the same performance. Two different models will be available, with one for indoor use and one for outdoor use. The indoor model is designed to accommodate EV fleets, like those of a rental car service, while the outdoor model is meant for public and commercial use, and can be installed in parking spaces, corporate campuses, or shopping centers.
“A low-cost DC quick charger unlocks the potential for unprecedented electric vehicle use and adoption,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America. “We anticipate thousands of these chargers will be installed across the country, enabling electric cars like the Nissan Leaf to be driven for even greater distances and durations.”
Nissan has recently made a big push to advance the development of quick charging, partnering with the Japan Automobile Federation to roll out fleets of quick-charging roadside service trucks in Japan, and also working on a system that can reportedly charge a car in 10 minutes. As we reported previously, the Japanese automaker is also working on a wireless charging system, which would allow EVs to charge by simply parking on an induction pad. In addition, Nissan is making quick charging a bit more accessible to its customers by including a quick charge port as standard equipment on the range-topping Leaf SL model for 2012.
Nissan is looking at AeroVironment, its preferred partner for home charger installation, to be the retail and wholesale distributor for the new charger. AeroVironment will also help manage the installation of the new units, which is expected to begin in early 2012. Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation are currently taking pre-orders for the charger, and an online ordering system is planned for launch in January 2012.