With the day being about plugging in to charge up, Nissan pointed some video cameras at the company’s EV fast charger – stationed in front of Nissan Americas headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. – to see who is stopping in to charge and go.
Nearly three years after Nissan launched the world’s first mass-marketed 100-percent electric car, it is clear the Nissan LEAF, the landscape of EV drivers, and EV charging infrastructure have evolved.
“At first it was just technology lovers who were early adopters. But EV customers have moved from early adopters to a more diverse and representative group of customers. They span all age groups and most income brackets. The EV customer base is increasingly more representative of the overall US population,” said Nissan Director of electric vehicles marketing and sales strategy Brendan Jones. “Also now the infrastructure makes adoption so much easier. We are working with companies, schools, businesses and governments to install more chargers across the country.”
On Sept. 24 at the Nissan Americas fast-charge station in Franklin, Tenn., EV drivers were eager to talk on camera because they are passionate about their LEAFs and have strong opinions about plugging in.
“Usually I go somewhere and grab lunch. I eat in the car, and then I check my emails for work, try to catch up, make a couple phone calls and by the end, it’s finished,” said LEAF owner Jaime Hutton. “And it’s good for the environment so you feel good about that too.”
The charger outside Nissan Americas regional headquarters regularly has a consistent stream of customers coming to plug in at all times of the day and night.
“More than 35 Nissan dealers throughout the U.S. have installed fast chargers within the last six months. We are working on an additional 100 installations. But the largest growth has come from our partners. Chargers were recently installed in New Jersey, South Carolina, Florida, New York City, Georgia, Washington D.C. and many other States and cities,” said Jones.
“I put around 60 miles every day, so it’s working out good for me, and this is quite near to my house, so I just drop by, go to the office and come back,” said LEAF owner Ashith Raj.
Every Nissan LEAF driver has a different story, a different need for driving, and different motivation for getting away from gas.
“I drive my kids to a lot of places from here and there, so I am doing a lot of fast trips all day long,” said new LEAF owner Cheryl Hanrehan. “I’ll save a lot of money from no gas payments.”
The LEAF owners interviewed at the Nissan Americas fast charger all said they are pleased with the way the LEAF drives, the cost savings, and the technology that comes with the car.
“I just wanted the car. It felt good. I just sort of dove in blindly, and it’s worked out really well. I love it,” said LEAF owner, and mom of three children, Erin Scot.
Nissan plans to keep working to install more workplace chargers across the country and to encourage more cities to support infrastructure. Company leaders say as sales continue to increase, so will infrastructure.
“Companies across the globe continue to deliver new innovative products that make owning, operating and using private and public infrastructure so much easier. We are now working with companies to installed lower KWh-chargers. This reduces the cost of installation and can be installed in more locations across the country. Our partners are also working on ways to make charging universally accessible for all customers regardless of where they live and the network they are using,” said Jones.