Nissan’s Leaf will help drivers find charging stations

When Nissan’s all-electric vehicle, the Leaf, arrives next year, the on-board communication system will help drivers locate charging stations. One of the challenges for the EV market has been the lack of infrastructure that could support widespread use and long distance travel. While efforts are being made to address the infrastructure issue- Better Place, in particular, has raised a remarkable $200+ million and partnered with governments and utilities to develop the necessary infrastructure and technology to make the electric vehicle a viable alternative to conventional (gas-guzzling) cars- the scarcity of charging stations will remain an issue in the near term. The Nissan Leaf may be the necessary stop gap until people like Better Place’s Shai Agassi can raise more money.

The Leaf’s communication module will connect via satellite to Nissan’s global data center. Similar to existing telematics systems, such as GM’s OnStar, the Leaf’s module will display usage, remaining battery life, the location of charging stations and which stations are within range. If the driver sees the battery is low on power, he can put the car into “limp” mode, so it drives at the most-efficient speed to ensure maximum range.

Once at a charging station- at least one that is equipped with high-voltage plugs- the recharge will take as much as 30 minutes, an eternity compared to a conventional fill up. Recharges at home will take 16 hours, based on voltages available in the U.S. or Japan.

Could telematic systems be the answer to the infrastructure question? Nissan is counting on it. “Most people think that the charging infrastructure is the Achilles’ heel of an electric vehicle project. But it’s really not,” says Mark Perry, Nissan’s director of product planning and advanced technology strategy. “We are doing this to address peace of mind. We think people will recharge at home 80 percent of the time. But this lets people feel comfortable with the what-ifs,” he added.

[Source: Technology Review]

  • Tags: Brands, Design, Places, Technology
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  1. [...] Nissan’s Leaf will help drivers find charging stations | LoveTomorrowToday lovetomorrowtoday.com/2009/12/22/nissans-ev-on-board-recharging-station-locator – view page – cached When Nissan’s all-electric vehicle, the Leaf, arrives next year, the on-board communication system will help drivers locate charging stations. [...]

    Pingback by Twitter Trackbacks for Nissan's Leaf will help drivers find charging stations | LoveTomorrowToday [lovetomorrowtoday.com] on Topsy.com — December 22, 2009 @ 9:53 am

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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    Trackback by uberVU - social comments — December 23, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

  3. [...] week, we reported on Nissan’s plans to include a ‘charging station locator’ in its new all-electric Lea…. The carmaker hopes the Leaf’s telematic system will help ease concerns surrounding a lack of [...]

    Pingback by NYC's First Charging Station | LoveTomorrowToday — December 29, 2009 @ 7:54 am

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    Trackback by Great Read — March 29, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

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