Fastned + Nissan Team Up To Offer LEAF Drivers Free Fast Charging In The Netherlands

Originally published on The ECOreport.

By Roy L Hales

Fastned CEO Michael Langezaal recently compared EVs to computers on wheels. Gas-powered vehicles, on the other hand, have a single function: going forward. The EV’s superiority is so obvious that once they have 4–6% of the market and an infrastructure is in place, they will take over. This morning, Fastned & Nissan gave us an EV wake-up call.

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Soon Every EV Will Offer +100 Miles

At the Frankfurt Motor show, Nissan unveiled a 2016 Leaf whose 30 kWh battery delivers a driving range of 250 km/155 miles (well, more realistically, 172 km/107 miles).

Tesla, the undisputed king of long range, has responded by announcing the launch of its Model X — a 7-seat electric SUV that accelerates like a sports car — on September 29.

Soon, every EV manufacturer will be offering models that travel more than 100 miles to a charge.


Building A Fast Charging Infrastructure

In January 2013, an EV drove across the United States. It was a Tesla, of course, but the infrastructure has grown considerably since then.

A fleet of EVs made the 4,200 km/2,610 mile trek known as “etour Europe” last May.

The number of charging stations is expected to increase twelvefold over the next five years, making long-distance EV trips commonplace.

The Netherlands, Norway, France, and the UK are leading this deployment in Europe, while clean energy giants like Germany are still “sleeping giants.” Langezall said he expects this to continue for two or three years.

Fastned Partners With Nissan

Fastned has 38 fast-charging stations in the Netherlands and is adding a new station every week. It should have 50 by the end of the year.

Now it is partnering with Nissan to offer two years of free charging for everyone who buys a new Leaf.

“It’s quite logical to offer unlimited fast charging with electric cars. Most people buy mobile phones including a subscription. The same is true for electric driving, people just want to be able to charge quickly and easily without fuss. That’s what we offer with this partnership,” said Langezall.

The EV Tipping Point Is Almost Here

A few months ago, Langezall said it might be difficult for the Netherlands to reach its goal of 200,000 EVs by 2020, but it will have more than a million by 2025 and go to 8 million after that.

Imagine this rate of deployment on a global scale.

The EV tipping point is almost here.

5 thoughts on “Fastned + Nissan Team Up To Offer LEAF Drivers Free Fast Charging In The Netherlands

  1. Free is terrible idea. If they’re anything like CA drivers, they’ll have lots of shortages even if they put in 1000 fast chargers. I often encounter Leaf and i3 with free charging from NRG to stand there for 30 full minutes to charge their car, even if it’s charging very slowly at 95%. I timed it to find that they were charging at about 2.5kW rate (15 seconds to get 0.01kW) at fast charger with 15 minutes left to go. Hey, it’s free, why not?

    Meanwhile, there are 2 or 3 others waiting to use it, and of course, they are Leaf with free charging who plan to sit there for 30 whole minutes. Guys like me who have to pay only use it to 80% to save time/money; I disconnect when it its 36kW rate (about 85%). Much more may end up pay more for electricity than gas cars getting 20 MPG. But if it’s free, you’re getting infinite MPG. Who cares about everyone else’s time?

    As with all things in life that are under priced, I suspect there will be shortages, and that could lead to awful experience for new EV drivers which in turn could turn negative for over all EV reputation and slow EV adoption.

    1. I kind of doubt that in Europe they are going to have a lot of trouble with there not being enough chargers for the people wanting to charge, especially with Fastned where there are at least 2 chargers per station with space for up to 8.

        1. It does sound like you have had some bad experiences there. But consider a couple things: Location: Fastned stations are all located at rest stops along the highway. Their primary use will be for traveling some kind of distance. A station located in a metropolitan area could be used much more by the grab a free charge people than Fastned’s stations.
          Quantity: Fastned is ahead of the demand now and is installing a station at least every other week and will continue to do so in the coming years according to their plan. Here is a great read:
          Also like I said, each location has at least 2 stations installed, with space for 8. Just yesterday on PlugShare I noticed in some pictures of Fastned stations that there are 4 chargers there.

          1. I read the link some time ago, and that’s why I fear for long wait times.

            1. With cars like Nissan Leaf where they charge down to 2kW using fast charger, it’ll bog down even 1000kW chargers to become 2kW.

            2. There are only 2 stations, which seem to imply that only 2 cars at a time can be charged. If it’s free for 30 min, I suspect most (all?) will take 30 minutes. 8 spaces mean 2 hours of waiting. If it’s free to 100% soc, then each Nissan Leaf could take hours even with 1000kW chargers, which could make wait times far worse (days?)

            3. Some gas car drivers drive half way across town to save $0.01/gal. I suspect those with home charging ability will also use fast chargers, whether it charges at 2kW or less and other people waiting (it’s happening today!)

            4. “75% of households in The Netherlands cannot charge at home”. If it’s free, it may not matter much whether it’s 10% or 90% since I suspect most (close to 100%?) will opt to use public charging.

            5. Tesla has enough range and many (most?) Tesla owners are able to charge at home, yet we see long waiting at many Superchargers. Now imagine if 75% cannot charge at home how bad it could get.

            Not all stations will be crowded. Some key locations will be worse with locals and distance travelers fighting (I hope not literally) to use free charging. One can argue they can put in more chargers, then how many? If it has to meet the demand of local populace + travelers, it may become unrealistically many.

            It’s not all bad, though. The crowding may present opportunity for businesses to sprout up that charge money to charge, alleviating crowding at fast chargers (guaranteed wait for 1 to charge). But if Fastned (or other gov’t agency) shut it down or compete against the business, well, it could be bad.

            I thought about setting up a network of fast charging business in US, but economics just didn’t make sense when the gov’t can do anything at anytime on a whim, especially with electricity which is considered a utility, not fuel. So I have to live with long wait times.

            I hope I’m wrong, but all the indications are that there will be long waiting with free charging.

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