Nissan and Green Parking Council Team Up to Deploy Fast Charging Stations

By · December 05, 2013

A Nissan branded CHAdeMO station in use at Premier Nissan in Fremont, Calif.

This week the Green Parking Council (GPC) and Nissan announced a partnership in which the Japanese automaker is offering significant funding and charging station hardware to GPC members, as long as they commit to an accelerated installation schedule. The program is an extension of announcements by Nissan throughout 2013 that it will subsidize a CHAdeMO-based fast charging network across the U.S.

Nissan is in a race against the coming of wave of electric cars offering a new DC Fast Charging (DCFC) protocol, SAE's Combo Charging System (CCS). Several electric cars going on sale soon will support CCS, and over the long term CCS may take over the fast charging market. While the Nissan LEAF (and Mitsubishi i-MiEV) have long supported DC Fast Charging, with its CHAdeMO port, the U.S. has been slow to adopt CHAdeMO charging infrastructure, with only about 306 CHAdeMO charging stations in the U.S. according to the CHAdeMO Association. Nissan is apparently seeking an advantage by offering wide access to CHAdeMO infrastructure while CCS is still in its infancy.

Nissan is now taking proposals for new installations, with a deadline on Dec. 6 for DC Fast Charging projects from parking infrastructure operators, which can be commercial areas, workplaces or residential communities.

Proposals must support the CHAdeMO charging protocol, because Nissan is focused on building up fast charging infrastructure for the Nissan LEAF and other potential Nissan EVs. The hardware choice will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and Nissan might support charging stations with the Combo Charging System protocol, as long as they are dual-port stations also offeringCHAdeMO.

The target markets include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle-Tacoma, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Atlanta, and Houston. These are top ten cities for LEAF sales. Locations in other areas will be considered.

Breaking Down Obstacles to EV Adoption

Nissan is not interested in owning the charging stations, but in facilitating more host sites for fast charging infrastructure. Nissan's team will work with host sites to identify the business and ownership model that makes sense for each site. A host site might work with a charging station network like NRG's eVgo or ChargePoint, for example.

One issue holding back fast charging infrastructure are demand charges. Some utility companies impose these charges on customers whose electricity demand comes in bursts, such as when a car plugs into a fast charging station providing 50 kilowatts of power from the grid. Nissan explained that, depending on local utility company rate structures, suitable charging hardware choices could mitigate demand charges. For example, a 20-kilowatt station is required in some locales to avoid demand charges, while in many locations 50-kilowatt service is acceptable.

Public access is a key issue for Nissan, as it builds extensive public fast charging infrastructure for the LEAF. Nissan said it will consider supporting a closed-access fast charging station, if it's at a workplace with thousands of employees, but will strongly prefer projects where the stations are available to the public, even if there's a parking fee.

Interested parties must be willing to move very fast, and complete the project by the end of March 2014. Visit the Green Parking Council website for details.


· · 19 weeks ago

Kudos Nissan and GPC.

@David, thanks for the info, but I have a hard time understanding why you insist on putting such an anti-CHAdeMO/pro-CCS spin on it.

As was pointed out in the past, the station count from the CHAdeMO association is way behind at least for the US. As of last May, Recargo was already listing 368.

Also, CHAdeMO isn't just Nissan or the Leaf. It's all the Japanese, plus others like PSA, Volvo, Zero, and now Tesla.
Basically all 3 top EV vendors.

Next up, is Nissan "racing against" a "coming wave" of cars with competing protocol? Sorry, now this is idiotic.

First, from their slides on the GPC's webpage you linked, its push towards EVs goes as far as supporting CCS as well: "Nissan's only requirement is that the hardware include CHAdeMO. Any other standard, including SAE Combo, can be included as Nissan supports the site host's commitment to charging EVs."

Furthermore, there is no "wave" of CCS-equiped car anyway: effectively only the i3 is coming next year (as optional equipment), about the same time as the suddenly incredibly affordable 2014 i-MiEV (which, just like the Leaf, will have CHAdeMO standard).
In 2015 we can expect the e-Golf... and on the CHAdeMO side, the Soul EV, Outlander PHV, e-NV200, Infinity LE and Model X.

Btw, both Mitsubishi and Kia, while nowhere near as aggressive as Nissan, also install quick-chargers:

Compare this to GM or BMW's plans to promote quick-charging. That is, none.
(Makes sense actually, surely there's more money to be made adding an ICE in there)

· · 19 weeks ago

@Mr.O is dead on. Where is the high volume CCS car that's just around the corner to drive this "wave"? The Spark EV is compliance only, the i3 is for luxo-toy buyers, and nobody has any idea what VW's really up to (they seem to be talking a good EV game right now, but isn't that what GM's been doing for a quarter century?) Meanwhile other players ostensibly in the CCS camp like Ford and Daimler (including Smart) continue to announce and ship EVs (to whatever extent they are) with no QC whatever.

Laurent Masson has argued in other articles here that QC in Germany will be dominated by CCS within a year or so, and if he's right about the heavy anti-Asian (or perhaps just pro-German?) bias he attributes to German car buyers, I suppose that could happen. But in the U.S., with Nissan continuing to move CHAdeMO-equipped EVs by the thousands, Tesla more than matching them with cars and adapters to access CHAdeMO, and no comparable commitment from any of the Frankenpluggers, it doesn't seem very likely the story could go CCS's way without corrupt influence and political interference.

I say if Nissan wants to call GM's lame CCS bluff by promoting accelerated CHAdeMO deployment in the U.S., more power to 'em.

· · 14 weeks ago

Modern age has given us so many things. The current trend of cars is different than ever. Car market is now dominated by brand.

· · 12 weeks ago

I agree w/ Mr.O there. Why the anti-Chademo spin? It's the de-facto standard and significant number of people see through the GM/VW bluff, calling it the standard which it is not. SAE/EU matters not, installations on the ground does. Since they lost the EV race, as a last ditch attempt they are trying to use politics to play dirty.

At this point nothing's going to change the definitive advantage Chademo has. I think most likely outcome is that it just raises the cost of EVSE installations due to CCS requirement, which of course nobody really uses.

My guess is that the market will continue to be dominated by Tesla and Chademo by the vehicle count. Infrastructure wise, both Tesla and Chademo/CCS dual standard chargers will be built but 99% of the time the CCS side will go unused. Sometime in 2020's, someone will realize the nonsense and drop the CCS requirement on new installs.

> I say if Nissan wants to call GM's lame CCS bluff by promoting accelerated CHAdeMO deployment in the U.S., more power to 'em.

I see what you did there :) more power to them indeed. It's just common sense. Kudos to them for believing in EV when nobody did. I'm just mad at GM/VW's bluff to sell frankenplug as some sort of industry standard to confuse the general public, making Nissan the pioneer the bad guy....I don't even own a Nissan stock, not even in the car industry so I have no skin in the game, I just don't like the dirty political trick that CCS/Combo is. I'd rather support the pioneer who has already won than me-too latecomers that rely on politics to topple it...wouldn't you??? That's why I admittedly am pro-Chademo and anti-CCS.

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