The news that Nissan now has 1,000 fast charging stations (CHAdeMO) installed around Europe (#1000 is somewhere in Surray, Englang), is great for electric mobility. To me even greater news would be to have even one of the next 1,000 stations installed in Bulgaria...
There's different opinions about public EV charging stations. Over at BMW, for example, they think "people mostly charge at home so public EV charging doesn't matter that much. I also kind of think this way, but only when it comes to slow charging stations – I not only find fast charging stations being necessary, but consider these a must!
Much more important than my opinion however is the stats. And in Norway, for instance, it shows that for just 18 months following a fast charging installation along E18 highway, the EV trafiic there increased eight fold.
And this is the effect of just one fast charging station! Not that it's super fast – you can charge an empty battery to 80% for 30 minutes there.
I don't even want to use the mandatory for the EV websites "just" 30 minutes, because let's not fool ourselves – this is not real rast. It's just a lot faster than 6-7 hours. And you're probably asking yourself if drivers at this EV fast chargin station in Norway need to wait in line to charge with such an increased traffic? I'm not sure, but here what:
- Most of the EV drivers plan their routes to avoid arriving at a charging stations with an amost empty battery;
- If your SOC is at 20% and you charge to, say, 50% it really goes faster (like 10 minutes) so others won't need to wait long.
Sure it can happen to wait for even half an hour. And you'll hardly like it. But that does not make today's EV fast charging stations less important.
In addition to p.2 above, years ago I started putting exactly as much fuel in my gas car as I would need – I top it up on long trips only (which I do very rarely). So to me partial charging of an EV battery for 10 minutes is absolutely OK. It's close to what we're used to now – to fill the tank for 3-4 minutes at a gas station. But I know you may have completely different needs – so I guess at least for now it's up to quantity.
And by installing 1,000 fast EV station Nissan defenitely made a quantity. I can't be happy not a single one of these happens to be in Bulgaria, but it only motivates me to work even harder to help EV adoption in our country.
So if 2013 was speedy in EV fast charging station installations, I expect even more in 2014, because if you look couple of years back:
- In 2010 there was only 16 EV fast charging stations;
- In 2011 > 155;
- In 2012 they made them 540;
- and 2013 ended up with 1,000.
So we're talking double in 2013 alone and that sounds great to me!
Plan is, for Nissan, to install more than 1,800 fast charging stations by the end of 2014. That's a lot more than the 2013 jump. A little less than 2,000, which I "envision" above and not sure we'll have our first such station in this period of time in Bulgaria, but it's worth the effort! This is how I feel it ;).