Nissan Australia is making ready for the arrival of the new all-electric Nissan Leaf in Australia in August, with a deal that will see Melbourne-based Jet Charge install electric car charging stations at Nissan dealers throughout Australia.
The chargers, which will be supplied to Jet Charge by Schneider Electric, will be located at 89 city and regional dealerships, creating what it claims will be Australia’s largest electric car sales network.
A report commissioned by Nissan in 2018 showed that two-thirds of Australians see the shift to electromobility is inevitable, with one-third already considering buying an electric car.
However, along with currently higher prices compared to combustion engine equivalents, access to charging infrastructure has been noted as a barrier to adoption.
The construction of the Nissan dealership charging network with Schneider Electric will go some way to addressing this, says Jet Charge CEO Tim Washington.
“Working with Schneider Electric to provide reliable, world class charging technology enables us to install the best charging solutions for Australian consumers,” he said in a note by email.
“Driven by increasing charging infrastructure and car model availability, the Australian electric vehicle industry is soon to leapfrog over other markets, and is already well ahead of other markets.
Jet Charge will install the chargers over the next 6 months, readying Australia for an influx of Leafs due in August – with almost a decade of EV motoring under its belt and 400,000 Leafs on the road worldwide, positioning itself as a leader in the Australian electric car market is something Nissan is certainly well-placed to do.
“In fact, electrified vehicles will represent a third of Nissan volume in Australia during our mid-term plan,” said Nissan Australia’s managing director Stephen Lester in a note.
“By introducing more electric alternatives on several of our key models, we will make mass market electrification a reality. I have no doubt electric vehicles will be a success here, and sooner than many think, and Nissan is planning for this now to ensure we meet the future needs of the buyer.”
Schneider Electric make AC chargers, including the 22kW EVlink that many may have seen as part of the existing Queensland Electric Superhighway network and that JET Charge will install at Nissan dealerships.
These are the chargers that allow for “top-up” charging over a 3-4 hour period while undertaking daily activities such as work, shopping or running errands, or simply while relaxing out of doors.
Laetitia Odini, marketing manager for Schneider’s electric vehicles and retail segment, told The Driven, Schneider Electric’s experience in mature EV markets overseas shows that for the daily use, AC chargers will satisfy most every day needs.
“Overseas, the majority of the charging is done at home,” she says. “People drive to work, then they return home.”
“It’s important to install [DC chargers] alongside highways because Australia has long distances…but most of these new EVs have more than enough range to cater for a few days driving without worrying about a flat battery.”
While most charging is often done at home (and JET Charge offer an option for home charger installation), Odini says that, “Charging infrastructure is important…you still need to be able to provide those other options, in carparks, commercial and office buildings.”
For JET Charge, the partnership with Nissan Australia brings Australia one step closer to a flourishing electric car market.
“Partnering with leading car and technology manufacturers will enable us to accelerate this growth further, and set Australian EV uptake soaring.”
Update: A spokesperson from Nissan Australia has confirmed the chargers will be installed on forecourts and will be available during dealer’s hours of operation.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.