Partnership to continue into 2017
EV drivers will find it easier to find a fast charge station in the coming years as Nissan and BMW continue to partner with EVgo to bring additional fast charging capability to both CHAdoMO and SAE Combo connector (CCS) equipped electric cars. The above infographic shows the network that existed in December 2015 (dark blue icons) with the expansion that has taken place since then (light blue icons). 50 additional charge stations are planned for 2017.
This infographic also represents another characteristic of EV drivers to date – they are clustered primarily along the West and East Coasts, with sporadic EV ownership throughout the rest of the country. If the fast charge network presented above reaches 90 percent of LEAF and i3 drivers, it is not a great leap to say that there are few EV owners spread throughout the middle of America. With the limited range of most current generation EVs, this is not unexpected. With Chevrolet’s launch of the 238-mile Bolt, we may see this demographic start to change. Once you can go 200 miles without having to stop to charge, it starts to open up whole new markets that did not exist prior.
The 2017 BMW i3 now offers a 33 kWh battery that extends its range to 114 miles. All 2017 Nissan LEAFs now come with a 30 kWh battery that will get you 107 miles down the road. Both of these pale next to the Bolt – at least in the driving range department. Nissan has announced the 2018 LEAF will have a 60 kWh battery and provide a 200-mile plus range and it will be available late 2017. Many Tesla Model S drivers have been enjoying road trips in their 200- to 300-mile range sedans for years. But Teslas are not within the price range of many Americans. As more affordable high mileage EVs hit the road, look for a much more rapidly expanding fast charge network to develop – with or without the auto manufacturers help.