Nissan selected Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint Network to show LEAF drivers where to charge their cars. The problem is, it is not a complete solution.
Nissan’s new partner has a network of charge stations already installed around the country. Coulomb’s approach has seemed to be to make arrangements with anyone that will partner with them and then to promote those partnerships on their website. This seems a good approach to us as it will broaden their network quickly and improve the national electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. At issue, though, as seen in this case is how much information is shared and made available to whom, and will this ultimately resolve the question “Where can I charge my EV?” We think that the solution is still in need of refinement.
Checking out our local San Diego area, clicking on the Nissan website and checking out the LEAF charging solutions, with the advent of the new ChargePoint Network partnership we were expecting to see all possible San Diego area charging locations displayed. According to Nissan the Nissan LEAF website “now has the most comprehensive listing of stations in the United States.” Our research shows that a significant number of charging locations don’t show up on Nissan’s map.
For example, the EV Project has installed a number of stations in the greater San Diego area. None of these are reflected in the ChargePoint Network map. We took a quick look in the Tennessee market and found none of the recent Cracker Barrel installations on the map either. Also, the Nissan dealership charging locations don’t show up on the ChargePoint Network map when viewed from their web site vs. accessing (theoretically) the same information from Nissan’s website. This is likely because Nissan does not want Nissan dealership charging locations to show up on the ChargePoint map. But if Nissan owners access the ChargePoint map rather than the Nissan map, they will not get the same information rendering this a less than optimum solution from a LEAF owners perspective.
Here at Living LEAF, we have found that the most comprehensive resource is still the open source, user powered CarStations.com. As users find new locations, they can add them. Since the site is not affiliated with any of the charge station networks, it seems to have the broadest representation. It also seems to be one of the most quickly updated sites as new stations come online. Other solutions can also be found at our article titled “How can I find a charging station for my LEAF?“