Nissan has again unveiled their high-performance charger which can revive the battery pack of the new Leaf electric car in just half an hour. We already knew about it from San Diego Gas & Electric’s public charging plans a few months back (just agree with me), but this time it’s about to be spread through Europe. Well, part of Europe. Sort of.
The roll out of the Nissan Leaf in Europe includes Britain, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands, with the first country out of that selection being the land of the clog. No word on when people can fork out for the car or the charger yet however.
This means one day in the future our Dutch friends will be able to drive into a mall – or perhaps even a recharging station – flip the “gas cap” and recharge in 30 minutes. Tuliptastic.
These units aren’t cheap however. The recharging device is the size of a fridge, and costs around $21,600 USD. This means it’ll most likely only be malls and shopping centres installing them to begin with, with everywhere else offering a normal recharging outlet instead.
The quick charger can restore 80 per cent of battery power within 30 minutes, compared to around eight hours for a conventional recharging station.
Nissan’s ultimate goal is to make sure that no electric car owner is further than 40 kilometres away from the next public charging facility. So which will come first, the car or the charger?
Personally I’d rather we the option of larger, longer-range battery packs rather than thousands of expensive public chargers being installed.
Don’t hold your breath on either. Most of the world won’t be able to purchase a factory-made electric car for many years to come, either due to the sheer cost, or the lack of availability, the lack of a recharging infrastructure.
Mitsubishi set the record for maximum distance per charge back in the 90′s with a converted car powered by a 400 kilogram (881 pound) Manganese Lithium-Ion battery. The team at Mitsubishi were able to achieve 2142 kilometers (1300 miles) on a single charge at their test track.
Here we are eleven years later with more advanced battery technology and yet the only battery option on the Nissan Leaf is 100 miles. It’s almost as if Nissan don’t want people to stop buying their gas clunkers. Surely not? The planet’s worth more than just profits, right?
As well as the Tesla Roadster and upcoming Model S, a quick google search will show you a handful of home-converters who’ve converted their own vehicles to electric, achieving ranges exceeding that of what the major auto makers are going to offer.
If it can be done by Tesla and blokes in their garages, it can be done by Nissan and Mitsubishi. Come on guys, at least give us the choice of upgrading to a longer range battery, instead of charging tax-payers for more recharging stations.