Tack on Phoenix, Arizona to the growing list of U.S. cities that plan on developing an electric vehicle (EV) charging network with guidance from Renault-Nissan. The car company, which will sell its lithium-ion powered EVs to commercial customers starting next year, recently signed on Tucson, Arizona, as well. Now Nissan will work on an EV charging corridor between the two cities.
As part of Nissan's plan, energy technology company Ecototality will build the 116-mile corridor along the Interstate 10 highway. Nissan will also work with Phoenix-area utilities to install 220-volt outlets in EV owners' homes. Don't think Nissan is trying to corner you into buying their brand—the company's charging stations work on batteries in any vehicle that is up to SAE standards.
If you are interested in checking out Nissan's EVs, they'll be on the road in 2012 for retail customers. Nissan's EV-02 prototype can charge up to 80% capacity in 26 minutes (the Tesla Model S charges fully in 45 minutes).
Nissan has already signed on a number of cities, states, and countries to its EV charging station program, including San Diego, California, and Sonoma County, California, as well as Oregon, Tennessee, Israel, Monaco, and the U.K. But Nissan isn't the only company with dreams of building a worldwide charging network. Shai Agassi's Better Place is working on networks in Israel, Ontario, and San Francisco. Here's to even more competition—the faster these companies scramble to set up charging networks, the faster EVs become practical for everyday use.