Smaller, less expensive DC Quick Charger on the way
Nissan has developed a second generation DC Quick Charge station that meets the CHAdeMO 1 protocol required by LEAF and the upcoming Mitsubishi i. The charger (pictured above) is powered from a 200 volt AC source. Some DC Quick Charge stations offered to date, such as the EV50-FS from AeroVironment, rely on 480 volts of three phase AC power. The advantage of running on a 200 volt AC supply is a potential greater range of availability as 480 volt AC power is not as generally available as 240 volt power. Nissan did not provide too many specifics with their announcement, but this much we do know:
- Nissan’s current system is priced at 1.47 million yen ($19,114) in Japan including tax (exchange rate as of 9/18/2011)
- Nissan is offering three specification ratings of their new system
- Base specification for indoor use with a 2 meter (6.5 foot) cable – priced “below one half of the current unit”, which by our calculation would bring it in at something less than $9,557.
- Standard specification (outdoor specification – whatever that means) with a 4 meter (13 foot) cable. Cost is said to be “significantly less than one million yen ($13,003).”
- Cold weather specification with a 4 meter cable, heater and cold-resistant cable (no price announced).
- Rated input – 49kW 3-AC200V
- Output voltage – Maximum DC500V
- Output current – Maximum DC125A
Nissan plans on making this proprietary system available to Japanese customers in November 2011. Their goal is to sell 5,000 units in Japan by the end of March 2016. Nissan plans to install these systems at Japanese dealerships, and is also looking to distribute this system in the United States and Europe.
What we read into this is that Nissan is planning to be the low cost provider of a CHAdeMO protocol DC Quick Charger. We know of no other system available below $10,000. Certainly, freight would add to the U.S. cost, but this seems to be an appealing alternative to systems that we have seen from other manufacturers. At this price, we can see forward looking independent retailers buying them without having to become affiliated with the various electric vehicle (EV) charging networks, with their confusing and complicated pricing schemes. Install your own system; set your own rules. We see this as a DC quick charger with a potentially serious impact on the future of EV infrastructure.