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Car and Driver: BMW, Nissan Have Set Up 120 DC Fast Chargers for EVs Nationwide

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BMW i3 Nissan Leaf


Can you hear that? It’s the sound of Tesla Motors letting out a collective giggle over BMW and Nissan’s announcement that they’ve installed 120 DC fast chargers for electric vehicles across the country to date. Even if the number of chargers pales in comparison to Tesla’s Supercharger network, it’s of great use to non-Tesla owners, given how Superchargers only work with Teslas, leaving owners of typical EVs out in the cold—and until now without much hope for long-range travel.


BMW Nissan charger


Presently, Tesla Motors has about 200 Supercharger stations across the U.S.—but each station has several chargers, making the true number of chargers far higher. Worldwide, Tesla has 565 stations with 3247 chargers. Those numbers leave BMW and Nissan’s efforts a little emasculated, but critical nonetheless. The 50-kW chargers work with BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf models’ charge ports, and can fill either’s battery to 80 percent capacity within 20 to 30 minutes. The units can also work with any EV capable of DC quick-charging, so the benefits extend beyond BMW and Nissan customers. (Chevrolet’s Spark EV, for example, includes a DC-capable charger.)


The speedy chargers have been installed at locations in 19 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin), and can be searched via BMW’s ConnectedDrive app or in-car navigation system or via Nissan’s EZ-Charge app. The chargers are part of the Greenlots charger network, and aren’t necessarily free like Tesla’s Superchargers. Another downside is that the network, which at first appears to blanket the U.S., likely wouldn’t be capable of solely supporting cross-country travel. It’s not the chargers’ faults—neither the Nissan Leaf nor the BMW i3 (the one sans a range-extender gas engine) can make it more than about 100 miles on a single charge. Even so, the chargers should help owners make medium-range trips with greater ease.


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