Brendan Jones, Nissan's director of electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, said the auto maker "is undertaking a proactive, multi-pronged approach to expand charging infrastructure to enhance awareness of electric cars like the LEAF and instill range confidence in potential customers. We know that available charging infrastructure opens the doors for more Nissan LEAF sales."
The EV quick charging initiative follows a 24-dealer pilot program that Nissan rolled out at auto dealerships in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Seattle markets. During the program, the company studied the frequency of charger use and the impact charging had on a dealer's operations.
Richard Luengo, general manager of Nissan of Downtown Los Angeles, said it is "located at the intersection of two of the country's busiest freeways, so having a quick charger available for the thousands of commuters who drive by us every day is a boon for business." The dealership is averaging about 10 charging sessions per day at its quick charger.
Since Nissan began the pilot program, the car maker said about 5,600 charging sessions have taken place, with each location averaging about 4.5 sessions per day—and that figure has been steadily on the rise as awareness has increased. Over the period of June 21-July 1, the number of charging sessions increased about 12.5 percent compared to the previous two-week period, according to the company.
Installation of new chargers will begin in East Coast markets, starting this summer. By April 1, 2014, Nissan said it expects to have quick chargers installed and operational at 100 additional dealerships.
Nissan said AeroVironment, its charging partner, will supply the quick chargers and will provide installation services for nearly all of the new quick charging units.