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Nissan, NRG to Create Fast-Charge Network for EVs


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Nissan Motor Co. and NRG Energy Inc. plan to install 500 quick-charge facilities in major U.S. cities over the next 18 months to bolster interest in electric cars.

Nissan says the 480-volt DC systems can recharge the 24-kW lithium-ion battery in one of the company's Leaf EVs to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes. The Leaf's built-in 240-volt AC charger requires roughly four hours to do the same through a home charging dock.

Princeton, N.J.-based NRG has already set up about 160 "Freedom Station" quick-charge systems in California and Texas through its eVgo unit. NRG will install 40 such stations in Washington, D.C., through its partnership with Nissan.

Brendan Jones, Nissan's director of EV marketing and sales strategy, tells reporters at the Washington auto show that the carmaker aims to place most of the quick-charge units in its own dealerships, at large workplaces and in cities with relatively large EV fleets.

The Nissan-NRG chargers will feature Japan's CHAdeMO DC plug design. Last summer Detroit's Big Three carmakers and BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen agreed to support a rival combo-plug designed sanctioned by SAE International that can work with both two-pin DC and five-pin AC chargers.

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