Vroom, vroom! That’s the sound of quick charging, Los Angeles style, which Plug In America co-founders Paul Scott and Zan Dubin Scott celebrated last month on a hot afternoon at Nissan of Downtown L.A. Paul, the dealership’s Leaf sales specialist, drew triple the number of usual Saturday test drives with Clean Get Away, a party to mark installation of a new DC quick charger (DCQC).
In the summer of 2012, news emerged of Nissan LEAF owners in Tucson, AZ, and other hot-climate areas experiencing unexpectedly large losses of battery capacity. This caused quite a stir in the LEAF owner community. The thread discussing this issue on the My Nissan LEAF (MNL) forum has over 5,000 posts.
As of today, winter solstice 2012, I have been driving electric vehicles for ten straight years and generating the electricity for them from sunlight. When Zan and I bought that RAV4 EV we had no idea how it would change our lives, but change them it did.
Swiss-made CHAdeMO charger, nicknamed "coffee&charge"
Designed for 32A 3-phase grid connection.
Touted as "CHAdeMO compatible", this charger is limited to output voltages of 240-420V. According to the company, a full CHAdeMO certified version (50-500V) is in development.
You know the old fire (or combustion) triangle? The concept that for something to burn, it requires a spark, fuel and oxygen? I think for a successful charge station installation, you have a similar set of requirements. You need good hardware, a good management policy, and a good group of drivers.
The Site and Hardware
Once a week, I charge at a certain public station. The site is a parking lot which is surrounded by many tech company offices, and the number of plug-ins in the lot probably exceeds the average by quite a bit.
This is Fuji Electric's 50 kW model, and was one of the first models chosen by EVOasis in California.
According to TonyWilliams at MyNissanLEAF, the charger can communicate with other units so that the overall load is kept below a user configured threshold. The charger can be configured with two nozzles, so that a second car can be queued up and start charging when the first car is done.
- Compliance: Chademo Rev0.9
In September, we finally got our Nissan Leaf. We had signed up very early in the process, and could have had a Leaf in the spring of 2011, but we decided to put our order on hold until they offered the cold weather package. It was worth the wait!
So what did I say when Zan Dubin Scott, Plug In America's Communications Director, asked me to recruit EVs for National Plug In Day’s Santa Monica parade?
I said yes, of course.
Did I mention she wanted to make it the biggest assembly of plug-in vehicles in the world?
As I write this, at least two of Plug In America's co-founders have taken possession of their new Nissan Leaf electric cars, and three drive Tesla Roadsters. Other drivers are steering new Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids on the roads. More are being delivered every day. Is Plug In America's work done? Hardly. We need to accelerate the drive to electrification of transportation.