As electric vehicles continue to evolve, the means by which we deliver power to those vehicles is seeing more and more innovative design and technology come to market. Hot on the heels of Qualcomm’s announcement that they’ve begun testing wireless charging stations in London, Nissan recently unveiled plans to bring an innovative, low-cost DC quick charger for electric cars to the U.S. market.
Nissan’s new charger is being launched as part of a global collaboration with Japan-based Sumitomo, with the first installations planned for early 2012. Nissan said the new unit will retain the performance of current quick chargers but at around half the size – making for a more compact footprint and easier installation. Through this new charger, which operates on a 480-volt current, charging time for the all-electric Nissan Leaf will be under 30 minutes, from a fully depleted state to 80-percent charged.
The starting price for the charger will be $9,900, about a third of the cost of models available on the global market today. The quick charger will come in two different models: a version for indoor use, designed to help accommodate fleets such as daily rental cars; and an outdoor model, designed for public and commercial charging uses. The companies are taking pre-orders for the charger, with an online ordering system launching in January 2012. AeroVironment will help manage installation and distribution.
“This charger is the first of its kind, and it’s truly revolutionary,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Nissan North America. “A low-cost DC quick charger unlocks the potential for unprecedented electric vehicle use and adoption. We anticipate thousands of these chargers will be installed across the country, enabling electric cars like the Nissan LEAF to be driven for even greater distances and durations.”
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