Increasingly, it is obvious that one of the most lucrative businesses associated with the electric vehicle movement is the one that will keep them on the road: the charging infrastructure.
As I reported just a couple of weeks ago, a rapid ramp-up is expected between now and 2017, when there could be 1.5 million chargers deployed privately and publicly in the United States. And, pretty much every company you can think of that makes power equipment -- including the car manufacturers and companies like Schneider Electric and GE -- is angling for a piece of charging infrastructure ("10 electric vehicle chargers to keep you on the road").
Nissan Motor Co., maker of the Leaf car, certainly gave its rivals something to think about earlier this week when it announced that it has created a new quick charger that it will sell for half the price of its current charging technology. If I did the conversion correctly, that's about $19,108.
The technology has been designed to deal with charging in rainy weather and there is a configuration for cold weather conditions. It is about 72.5 inches tall x 15 inches wide x 26 inches deep, which makes it pretty easy to squeeze into tighter spaces than the company's existing chargers. The rated output voltage is 500 volts of direct current.
Nissan figures that it will sell approximately 5,000 of the chargers by the end of its fiscal year 2015 in March 2016. Its own customers are a logical target, but the unit is compliant with the CHAdeMO*1 technology protocol and can can be used with electric vehicles from other manufacturers.
Japan is the initial market, of course, but the company is planning future sales for the United States and Europe.