BMW and Nissan build 120 fast charging stations in US

BMW and Nissan have teamed up to build 120 fast charging locations in 19 states for the drivers of their electric cars to use. The stations are equipped with both CHAdeMO and CCS chargers and can be used by any EV with fast charging capability. The chargers are free for BMW customers and are compatible with Nissan EZ-Charge cards.

The new 50 kW stations can replenish the battery in a BMW i3 or Nissan LEAF to 80% in 30 minutes. They are located in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Together with Nissan, we are focused on facilitating longer distance travel so that even more drivers will choose to experience to convenience of e-mobility for themselves,” says Cliff Fietzek, BMW of North America’s Connected eMobility manager. That statement is both a good news and bad news for EV drivers.

If the purpose of the chargers is to enable long distance driving, they should be located close to major transportation corridors. Yet here is what Nissan has to say: “Nissan takes a three-pronged approach to growing public EV charging options for LEAF drivers by installing quick chargers in the community, at corporate workplaces and at Nissan dealerships.” That’s according to Andrew Speaker, Nissan’s director of Electric Vehicle Sales and Marketing.

Here’s a question. If you are on the interstate and need to recharge your battery, do you want to exit the highway long enough to find a dealer, a workplace, or a charger in a city center? BMW and Nissan get an A for installing fast chargers at all, at a time when other manufacturers are standing by and waiting for others to shoulder the load. But they get a D for deciding to put their chargers where people on road trips can’t access them easily. Make that D for dumb.

Both companies say drivers will be able to locate the new chargers on their smartphones. BMW i3 drivers will see them displayed on their onboard navigation screen.