EV Infrastructure Grows

by Ernie Hernandez on January 31, 2015

Charge Point Dual

ChargePoint seems to be the winner

First Volkswagen and BMW announced the development of East and West Coast electric vehicle (EV) charge corridors. Then Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) stated that it would bring over 1,000 EV charge stations to its service area with Nissan’s help. ChargePoint, a manufacturer and network provider, is partnering in both of these initiatives.

The VW/BMW venture will place close to 100 DC fast chargers from Boston to Washington, D.C. on the East Coast and from Portland to San Diego on the West Coast. Key is that between cities they will be placed at no greater than 50 mile intervals. These stations will not help Nissan LEAF owners as the stations will have the SAE combo connectors as opposed to the CHAdeMO connectors used by Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Kia. These DC fast chargers will be supported by additional Level 2 240-volt charge stations.

KCP&L has chosen a different path. Partnering with ChargePoint and Nissan, the fast charge stations in the Kansas City market will charge any electric vehicle. The network will include both DC fast chargers and Level 2 stations, and will be the largest utility supported network to date in the United States. In addition, access to the network will be free to drivers for the first two years.

These two recently announced projects highlight the challenges still facing the young EV market. All parties involved need to come to the table and look to the future of the EV industry collectively and work toward a solution that will be beneficial to all. If that future includes various connectors, perhaps future networks should accommodate them all, just as we now have various gasoline grades available at the gas pump. This would allow each maker the design of their choosing, but not penalize their owners while driving from place to place.

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Is $30,000 and 200 miles the new EV benchmark?

by Ernie Hernandez on January 17, 2015

Target with arrows

Chevrolet Bolt misses that mark

Chevrolet announced the Bolt concept electric car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a price of $30,000 and a driving range of 200 miles. The Bolt’s $30k price point is to be reached after incentives, which means that the vehicle price will be roughly $37,500. Elon Musk’s Model 3 is due around the same 2017 time frame with a starting price of $35,000 – before incentives – and a stated driving range of 200 miles. It seems the Model 3 may be the better deal, although still short of reaching that target.

Musk, though, has shown with the Model S launch that the announced price and the actual price of the vehicle may vary. Model S was announced with a $57,400 starting price in 2011 (found here). Tesla never actually produced a Model S with that 40 kWh battery pack. The starting point of the Model S ultimately turned out to be $69,900 for the 60 kWh battery pack model.

Nissan’s LEAF currently starts at $29,860 (before incentives), has an EPA driving range of 84 miles, and Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn has indicated that the next LEAF will get double its current range. If they can maintain the same starting price and offer a driving range of 168 miles Nissan is getting closer to that elusive $30k/200 mile benchmark. If they can actually reach that 200 mile target range I think that will be a significant milestone in the development cycle of the electric car. The question is, will a range of 168 miles be enough to bring in new buyers, or does Nissan (or another maker) need to bring in a true $30,000, 200 mile car to really attract the masses? Time will tell.

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LEAF vs. Prius – First 4 Years

January 9, 2015

EV beats Hybrid With Nissan just reporting LEAF sales for 2014 of 30,200, up 33 percent from 22,610 from 2013, I thought it would be a good time to revisit how the first four years of LEAF sales compared with the first four years of the Toyota Prius – the undisputed champion of the hybrid […]

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Health, Happiness, Serenity

January 1, 2015
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My wish for you It is with some amazement that I sit down here and type these words. It was back in 2010 when I first started writing about the upcoming Nissan LEAF. Always a seeker of knowledge wherever it is to be found, when I first learned of Nissan’s plans for a new electric car […]

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Fuel cell vehicles – current and future

December 6, 2014
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A look at fuel cell vehicles – viable or not? Electric vehicles (EVs) are not all the same. The Nissan LEAF is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) taking its power purely from an on-board battery. The Chevrolet Volt is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) using an onboard battery for motivation until the battery charge […]

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Renault-Nissan Alliance sells 200,000th EV globally

November 26, 2014
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Alliance has 58% market share In addition to great market share, Nissan and Renault electric vehicles (EVs) share another commonality – EVs have the highest customer satisfaction rate of all models offered by both brands, a great indicator of continued future success. Nissan has sold 148,700 EVs globally since the launch of the LEAF in […]

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2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

November 23, 2014
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The year of the Fuel Cell? First – above you see Nissan’s BladeGlider concept. Nothing new here as this was announced by Nissan almost exactly a year ago. But this is the first time that we’ve actually had a chance to look at one in real-life. I must admit… it looks just as weird in […]

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Nissan acknowledged for environmental performance

October 18, 2014
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Nissan achieves perfect score in 2014 climate change report The LEAF is not the only area of Nissan’s emphasis toward improving our environment. Last year Nissan reduced global corporate activity CO2 emissions while increasing production over 5 percent. The company is on track to reducing such emissions by 20 percent (from 2005 to 2016). Nissan […]

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LEAF is best value in a Certified Pre Owned compact hatchback

October 14, 2014
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Vincentric Names LEAF to 2014 CPO best value awards According to Vincentric, a Michigan based auto data compiler, the Nissan LEAF has the lowest cost to own in the compact hatchback segment of all manufacturer’s Certified Pre Owned vehicle offerings. This class includes conventional gasoline powered cars, as well as the electric LEAF. In a crowded […]

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LEAF sets record sales month

September 3, 2014
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Nissan LEAF sales continue climibing Nissan has just released sales numbers for August, and LEAF came in with a record 3,186 units sold. The previous monthly high was set back in May of this year with 3,117. Year to date sales are 18,941, an improvement of 34.1 percent over 2013 numbers.

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