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Finding somewhere to plug in an electric car can be a little difficult. Several EV manufacturers have maps of EV charge points (as do we, for the U.S.), but keeping those maps updated as more stations are installed (and some places are perhaps lost) can be a little overwhelming. Nissan has a solution to this potential problem — Leaf drivers know where to plug in their cars, so Nissan is just asking them.
Nissan’s new service, which went online April 23rd, monitors approximately 13,000 Leafs (in Japan) and records exactly where the cars are plugged in. The data is then sorted and put online for other Leaf drivers to access. Nissan hopes that it will be able to double the number of charging stations currently available to its drivers while cutting down database update time by a third.
Nissan’s Leaf EV ICT (Information and Communication Technology) System is the part that records where drivers charge their cars. The information then goes to the Nissan CARWINGS Data Center where it is analyzed, and then fed back into the Leaf navigation system.
The end result is that — with daily updates — Leaf drivers know exactly where other Leaf drivers have successfully charged their cars, and the navigation system will tell them exactly how to get there (presumably, the system filters out instances of “I charged my car at home,” because that’s not helpful to the general public). The system is currently available only in Japan, but would potentially be applicable to a much broader market.
There is, of course, the issue of privacy and whether or not Leaf drivers want Nissan watching their cars. I believe it’s an opt-in system, but either way I actually rather like it (it’s not like my phone isn’t tracking where I go every minute of every day anyway). What do you think? Do you want your car tracking where you charge it so other people can use that information, or would you rather maintain your privacy and keep your charging points to yourself? Tell me in the comments below!
Charis Michelsen spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissin, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.