Nissan and BMW have been partnering on the development of charging stations to support their respective growing fleets of electric vehicles for a few years now. EVgo has been building the network in the US for the two automakers and it now includes over 668 DC fast-charging stations in over 50 metro areas.
The companies are announcing today another batch of 174 new DC fast-charging station across 33 states.
While the stations are specially built for Nissan’s fleet of LEAFs and BMW’s fleet of i3s, the network is publicly available to all electric vehicles with CHAdeMO or SAE Combo (CCS) connectors.
Robert Healey, Head of EV Infrastructure for BMW of North America, said about the announcement:
“BMW’s continuing collaborations with Nissan and EVgo, further demonstrate the company’s commitment to building a robust public charging infrastructure across the country. We are on the forefront of an industry-wide commitment to support the expansion of convenient and accessible electric vehicle charging options. The expansion of the plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure will give more U.S. drivers the confidence to choose an electric vehicle, such as the BMW i3, as longer distance EV travel becomes increasingly commonplace.”
JeSean Hopkins, senior manager of Nissan EV Infrastructure Strategy & Business Development, had similar comments about the extended partnership:
“Nissan continues as a leader in building accessible infrastructure to benefit Nissan LEAF drivers as well as all EV owners. Infrastructure for all is a key strategic priority for us as we continue expanding the network of dual-port quick chargers across the country. We look forward to ongoing teamwork and the continued build-out of public quick-charge stations.”
The map of their joint network is starting to take shape:
Unfortunately, they are still only talking about 50 kW chargers, which are fine for the BMW i3 and Nissan LEAF, but it’s not exactly future-proof for upcoming higher capacity models.
For example, EVgo recently broke ground on the first electric vehicle DC fast-charging station capable of 350 kW output in California.
BMW is among a few automakers committed to build stations with the same capacity in Europe, but so far EVgo’s effort is the only one planned in the US.
Chargepoint announced a new 400 kW charging architecture, but the company doesn’t operate many stations and instead sells them to other companies. While the system is impressive and we know it is coming, the deployment will depend on companies buying the stations and operating them.
Though it’s currently only compatible with its own vehicles, Tesla’s Supercharger network remains the biggest high-power charging network. But with the new system coming out, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the partnership, like this one between EVgo, Nissan BMW, soon moving to solutions with higher capacities and create more competition.