If you build it, they will come (more quickly, that is)

Charge stations at Air & Space museum

Seven EV charging stations at San Diego Air & Space Museum

Infrastructure developing in Chicago

We mentioned back in February, the fact that the City of Chicago embraced the idea of electric vehicle technology, and wanted to be a front runner along this path. With a total of 280 station installations called for by the end of 2011, Chicago already has 40 Level 2 stations in place. Plans call for a total of 73 DC quick charging stations in the mix. This likely already puts Chicago ahead of San Diego in installed infrastructure. San Diego has seen the LEAF available since January but the majority of charging docks are still only those available at Nissan dealerships.

Speaking of LEAF availability, Chicago’s aggressive pursuit of infrastructure development has given Nissan cause to accelerate their plans to introduce the car to the Illinois market. According to senior Nissan exec Scott Becker “Chicago area leaders have paved the way for mass market adoption of electric cars”, and Nissan has chosen to move the introduction of the LEAF ahead to this fall due to this commitment.

350Green partnered with the city to implement the equipment installation. 350Green is partnering with a broad range of entities to ultimately create a national network of charge stations. These networks will be owned by 350Green and operated by the facility manager. The idea is that the consumer will be able to join the network and charge at any network equipment included in their subscription charge plan. So far plans such have this have been priced at a point that few would find palatable, but as alternatives present themselves market forces will determine ultimate price points.

This entry was posted in Charging Infrastructure, Industry News, Is the Nissan LEAF right for me?, LEAF Availability, LEAF Information. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to If you build it, they will come (more quickly, that is)

  1. indyflick says:

    “This likely already puts Chicago ahead of San Diego in installed infrastructure.” I’m really happy for Chicago. They are doing it right. On the other hand, we in San Diego have the epic fail EV Project “building” out our infrastructure. At what point does the DoE pull the plug on the EV Project and recompete it? Hopefully next time they’ll award two contracts to create a land grab, winner take all, kind of environment.

  2. Tom K says:

    Here in Los Angeles it is an epic fail with respect to EVSE infrastructure expansion also. Certainly the hype at the begining of this year has not come to fruition… Where is the EV Project??

  3. Neil Bettenhausen says:

    Yup….sort of sad, isn’t it? Here we have all these Leaf (and other) electric cars in Southern Cal–but very few public charging stations outside of Nissan dealerships. And, the only level 3 (to my knowledge) is the one installed by Mitsubishi up in the LA area.

  4. indyflick says:

    Over the last eight months I’ve sent letters to the DoE and to my Senators regarding the EV Project failure and have received no response. All ECOtality seems to be able to do is write press releases about a new agreements with retailers to install EVSEs. Then nothing ever happens. I talked to a restaurant which was suppose to get a couple EVSEs installed on the EV Project in March. March came and went. They told me the new date was mid-May. May came and went. New date was no later that the end of June. June came and went. In July they told me any day now. It’s now nearly September and still nothing.

    ECOtality did manage to install a couple of EVSEs in the north county at a private business named Flux Power in Escondido. What’s odd about that is Flux Power is on Auto Parkway, a couple of miles from Mossy Nissan Escondido which already has several EVSEs. I don’t get it.

  5. steve says:

    We are starting to see some level 2 charge stations in the Portland area, tonight we took our new Leaf from our home in North Portland down to Wilsonville south of town and charged at the new Fred Meyer on one of their two Blink units. There’s also a solar powered pair of EVSEs not too far away in Northeast Portland. One thing I have noticed is that the map on the Blink website is not very up to date tho.

    • Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) says:

      steve – welcome to Living LEAF. The Carstations.com site shows 27 J1772 charge stations in the Portland area and only 14 in the San Diego area. Each station may have more than one unit. That seems to be the best source for new stations, as it is consumer updated.

  6. steve says:

    Thanks. Today we visited Portland State University’s “Electric Avenue” and availed ourselves of the DC Fast charger. There are examples of L2 EVSE units from pretty much every manufacturer all in a row, plus the big Eaton unit.

    • indyflick says:

      That Electric Avenue is such a great idea to showcase the variety of EV charging technologies and companies. I’m so jealous! The difference between San Diego and Portland is that Portland didn’t put all their eggs in one basket with ECOtality and the EV Project, like San Diego did. So as the EV Project fails, Portland’s EV infrastructure keeps getting built out by more capable companies. San Diego actually believed ECOtality would deploy thousands of public EVSEs by summer 2011 and all for free! Yippe!! In the end, ECOtality only delivered a handful of public EVSEs. Now we’re stuck with no options. San Diego doesn’t have the capital funds to do it ourselves. The photo ops for the politicians have run their course. Looks like Nissan dealerships will be the San Diego EV charging infrastructure for awhile.

    • Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) says:

      steve, great news about using the DC Fast charger! I think I’d use it even if I didn’t need to at least once, just to check it out. I see the installation of more of these units as the grease needed to free up the idea of just using our LEAFs as grocery getters. While many may never use them, the availability of the charger is key. For many though, it really would work as a range extender for the occasional trip beyond one’s normal stomping grounds.

  7. Tom K says:

    The situation in San Diego is most unfortunate. Here in LA it’s not much better…

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