Motorway service stations to get fast chargers?


Nissan wants to roll out fast charging points for electric cars in motorway service stations across the UK.

The firm's UK managing director Jim Wright revealed the Japanese car maker was in "advanced talks" with service station operators about introducing the points which can recharge EVs by up to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes.
Wright said Nissan aims to create hubs around the UK which would make traveling from Glasgow to London as easy, and as quick, as the same trip in a normal combustion-engined car.

"We'd like to think it is conceivable that if drivers of electric vehicles needed to make a 200-mile journey then they'd be able to do so in the same time as you would in a combustion-engined car," said Wright.

"By that I mean, the EV driver would stop for around 20 minutes as a break, have a cup of tea and charge up his car while he did so. We are trying to establish a network of charging points around the country that would enable this to happen and service stations are ideal."

Wright confirmed he was in discussions with the owners of these sites now as well as train stations and other locations deemed suitable for fast charging points.

"The industry has to be behind this because the government doesn't have the money to do it," he added.

But what does Nissan get out of it? Andy Palmer, global head of product for the manufacturer told us at the Tokyo Motor Show that it wasn't about making money.

"Mr Clarkson kindly pointed out on Top Gear this summer that the UK was severely lacking fast charger points," explained Palmer. "We've decided to manufacturer these quick chargers in house so we can bring the cost of them down from £40,000 to nearer £8,000 and roll out installations.

"At that price they become more affordable and we can see local communities clubbing together to buy one, or a Starbucks or petrol station buying one. Why would they want to do that? Well, they capture customers for the 15-20 minutes it takes to charge the car and can make money from them elsewhere.

"We won't make any money on selling the chargers, but it is about helping EVs develop and the market expand – that we will benefit from."

Would a network of fast chargers mean you would be more likely to buy an EV? Let us know by posting your comments below.
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