Infrastructure is the weak link in the EV story. Too many people worry they will get stuck with a flat battery far from home because there aren’t enough charging stations available. BMW and Nissan are teaming up to do something about that. They have just installed 120 DC fast chargers in 19 states.
The 50 kW chargers all support both CHAdeMO and CSS charging protocols and are available for use by any EV owners whose cars are compatible with fast charger technology. According to Hybrid Cars, the new facilities are located in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
“Nissan takes a three-pronged approach to growing public EV charging options for LEAF drivers by installing quick chargers in the community, at corporate workplaces and at Nissan dealerships,” said Andrew Speaker, Nissan’s director of electric vehicle sales and marketing. “By working with BMW to increase the number of available public quick-chargers, we are able to further enhance range confidence among EV drivers across the country.”
The companies should be applauded for being pro-active about building out the charging network. Studies show that charging infrastructure may be more important than tax credits when it comes to convincing people to consider buying an electric car. Still, the siting of the new chargers may be less than ideal. Where people need them most are along the country’s interstate highways and other major transportation routes. The likelihood of an EV driver exiting the highway to go in search of a charger located in a city center or at a dealership is pretty low.
Tesla seems to have a far better understanding of where to put its SuperChargers, which are primarily located close to highways, since they are intended to be used by Tesla owners who are traveling away from home.
BMW owners can locate the new chargers with their ConnectedDrive software. Nissan drivers can find them on their EZ-Charge smartphone app. The chargers are all compatible with the Nissan EZ-Charge cards.