EV charging is getting easier

by Ernie Hernandez on December 24, 2015

EV Charging signage

More places to charge with easier access

Currently, EV drivers must collect an assortment of charging network access cards if one is to be able to charge at the nearest charging station. This issue harkens back to the days when gas stations had their own credit cards but the idea of bank cards had not caught on yet. You would need to have a gas card for each gas company that you wished to use. Once bank cards came along, and gas stations started accepting them, customers found it easier to use one card wherever they traveled. It looks like EV drivers are moving in this direction.

Last month at the Los Angeles Auto Show the ROEV Association announced a partnership of electric vehicle (EV) automakers and EV charging networks to make it easier for EV drivers to access charging equipment while out and about. The initial members of this EV trade association are BMW and Nissan from the automotive side, and ChargePoint, EVgo, and CarCharging/Blink from the charging network side. Additional auto makers that have signed on include Audi and Honda thus far.

With the advent of ROEV and its charging network interoperability, an EV driver that holds an access card for any of the member charging networks will be able to use that access card to access any other network in the association. All of ROEV’s communications to date make statements such as “in the future” and “ROEV will enable EV drivers…”, so we don’t anticipate that this capability will exist in the near future. More information regarding a timetable for implementation of their plan can be found at roev.org as the make it available. For those that would like this convenience now, there is another alternative that is already operational.

The EZ-Charge card (ez-charge.com) is available to Nissan LEAF owners at no charge. The card allows access to five different charging networks located across the country. Current providers are AeroVironment, Blink/CarCharging, ChargePoint, Greenlots, JNSH, and nrg/EVgo. More information can be found at their website.

Of course, EV drivers can also choose to continue keeping several charge network cards in their car, or apps on their phone.

Nissan and BMW partner to deploy fast charge stations

For EV owners that wish to easily extend their driving range, conveniently placed fast charge stations can be extremely helpful. The fast charge network is growing more slowly than the standard charge network for a variety of reasons. To assist its expansion, Nissan and BMW have joined to provide 120 charge locations in 19 states. All of these charge locations support both the CHAdeMO design used by Nissan and SAE Combo connectors used by BMW. As can be seen on the plugshare.com screen grab of fast chargers across the US shown below, the vast majority of fast charge stations (excluding Tesla Superchargers) are on either end of the country. This makes sense as this is where the majority of EVs are purchased. With the passage of time it can be seen that fast chargers, in particular, don’t seem to come online until there are EVs sold in that market. But compared to this map of just three years ago, significant progress has been made.

Fast Chargers Dec 2015

 

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

GlennNDavis April 21, 2016 at 2:28 am

It still seems strange that Nissan will not make fast chargers available to customers. Their use of the term evse for an $1000.00 extension cord seems really weird. The technology for high power DC comes from DC welders. This in combination with an Raspberry PI computer should bring the cost of type/level 3 DC chargers well within the range of most customers. As long as i can charge in time for my next appointment I am good. The problem seems to be that Nissan seems not to want people to actually fast charge the cars when necessary. This should be of grave concern to the California CARB Board since actual use is what saves smog. I live in OHIO but was born in Frisco. It has been a strange journey to find that the DC fast charge plug is being made useless by making the chargers unobtainable. Perhaps Carb credits need to be made for each use of the quick charger paid to the owner of the leaf. This would reward heavy car users for moving / taking their car use to Zero Emission Vehicles. This would create the most value for carb credits and most reduce the polution.

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Ernie Hernandez April 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Glenn – Welcome to Living LEAF, and thanks for your contribution to the discussion.

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