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How Google, Nissan plan to ease EV range anxiety

Posting in Energy

Range anxiety, the fear an electric vehicle will run out of juice and leave its driver stranded, has been one factor that has slowed plug-in EV sales.

The U.S. Department of Energy has managed to get major employers, including Google, Verizon and Siemens to help ease those fears through the Workplace Charging Challenge, an initiative to increase the number of U.S. employers offering charging stations by tenfold in the next five years, and, in turn, drive up plug-in electric vehicle ownership.

This week,  the first 13 employers joined the Workplace Charging Challenge, including 3M, Chrysler Group, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly and Company, Ford, GE, GM, Google, Nissan, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Tesla, and Verizon.

The employers have agreed to assess the demand for PEV charging and develop and implement a plan to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location.

There are about 1,500 private charging stations that exist in workplaces, allowing drivers to leave their office with a fully charged battery, according to Nissan. The automaker has gathered information from corporations that offer incentives for EV owners and plan to share those best practices with other companies interested in growing the workplace charging infrastructure, the company said in a statement.

Nissan also announced this week plans to triple the current EV quick-charging in the U.S. with the addition of at least 500 stations in the next 18 months.

Some companies, namely Google, already have an expansive EV charging network in place. The company offers free on-campus charging at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters and eight additional offices in the United States. The search engine giant says with more than 300 stations across the country, it has built the largest corporate charging infrastructure in the country.

Photo: Nissan

— By on February 1, 2013, 1:52 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure