Nissan, Sumitomo Bring Low-Cost Electric-Car Quick Charger to U.S. Market

published: 2011-11-11 15:28 | editor: | category: News

Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) announced that it is bringing an innovative, low-cost DC quick charger for electric cars to the U.S. market. The DC quick charger is being launched as part of a global collaboration with Sumitomo Corporation, with the first installations planned for early 2012.

Nissan and Sumitomo also announced that they are looking to Nissan North America's preferred home charging station partner AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) to be their wholesale and retail distributor, as well as the preferred provider for U.S. installation services.

Nissan announced the development at a press conference associated with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Honolulu, where Nissan also is offering test drives of the all-electric Nissan LEAF, the only 100 percent electric car designed for the mass market. The new DC quick charger can support all plug-in vehicles capable of quick charging on the CHAdeMO standard, including the Nissan LEAF which is available to U.S. consumers equipped with an on-board quick-charging port.

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, which is specifically designed for public and commercial charging uses - such as public spaces, corporate campuses, and retail centers. Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation, together with its U.S. subsidiary Sumitomo Corporation of America, currently 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, NNA. "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."

Nissan Motor Co. previously announced joint promotion of the DC Quick charger with Sumitomo Corporation in US market. The newly developed DC quick charging unit retains the high performance of current quick chargers but is nearly half the size - making for a more compact footprint and easier installation. Through this new charger, which operates on a 480v current, charging time for the all-electric Nissan LEAF will be under 30 minutes, from a fully depleted state to 80-percent charged.

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