“Sorry sir, the keys are locked up and we can’t move it.” The sales staff were very helpful and apologetic but they could not move a LEAF parked in the bay reserved for Quick Charging.
So how did that happen?
I called by for a quick charge one evening after shopping nearby. When I saw the LEAF parked in the quick charge space I figured someone was charging, but then noticed the vehicle wasn’t plugged in and with no one in sight. I inquired within and the dealer staff did their best to help. The salesman looked at the vehicle and said, “It’s not ours, we are working on it”. Sure enough a service tag was hanging from the rear view mirror. The keys to vehicles being serviced are locked away in a separate lockup by the service department, salesmen do not have access to customers keys. I suppose that’s a good thing 🙂
Instead I spent 30 minutes drinking coffee and chatting to the staff and customers while my vehicle charged at their Level 2 EVSE. I bumped into someone I used to work with and we exchanged stories about our careers while she was shopping for an Altima.
It’s early days for EV’s and the dealers don’t have their businesses setup to fully support EV’s yet. I’m very glad Nissan chose to install a quick charge unit at Nashville area dealers, I’ve made great use of them, however this experience underlines the fact there is a single point of failure throughout their quick charge network.
Tesla have already thought this through and install multiple superchargers at each location, so if one is out service or blocked by an inconsiderate driver, there’s probably several other superchargers available. Redundancy is key to a quick charge network that is to be relied on. What this experience tells me is that established car manufacturers and dealers have yet to setup a reliable quick charge network. Maybe because they don’t want to. They don’t have gas pumps, they let someone else handle that. But for EV’s to be take off a reliable quick charging network has to be in place for EV’s to become a long term success. Tesla know that and are building their own network, this should assure them of success in the EV marketplace.
The good news is that Nissan dealers do have Level 2 units that can be used in place of a quick charge unit, which is better than nothing. I got home just fine just a little later than I had hoped for, but I did manage to catch up with a colleague from a ‘previous life’.
Just got back from Metro Center Nissan and its quick charger.
Last night was up there for a quick charge. There was a customers car with a service tag parked in front of the charger, but was completed. I was able to squeeze in close and had just enough cord to reach my car, and got a quick charge. If you turn the timer off, you can quick charge up to 100% if you’re that patient.
Tonight, no one around, was able to back in so I could see the screen from inside.
Sunday, took the gas car out to Lebanon. After visiting outlet mall, drove by the cracker barrel up the road to see the alleged quick charging station there. It was all blacked out, power off apparently. That would have been a major problem if I’d ventured to take the Leaf out there. Why in the world doesn’t the outlet mall get its own quick chargers? That’s the destination there.
– Richard Keppler
Hi J.P. !
This blocking is an all too common problem. At the Nissan Dealership in Salisbury NC the L2 chargers are located in the clean-up area. Cars are parked in those spaces all the time. Now that they have a new Nissan DCFC in place here in Salisbury, NC, I am keeping my fingers crossed that some polices have been implemented to protect those spaces.
Something I have thought of for public chargers is why not just put some cross arms there similar to railroad crossings? The only way to get in would be to activate the cross arms. I know this is an added expense, but if folks can’t get to the chargers, then what good are they?
By the way, glad you are still active on MNL.
A simple road construction cone is all that is necessary to ‘reserve spaces’ for EV’s, they should cost very little. I’ve seen this implemented at several public charging locations.
Thanks for adding your experiences in NC.
Trying to find out if there’s an adapter that fits the end of the quick charge plug so that i can charge my 2012 nissan leaf. The nozzle is too big for my charge port. Please help. New leaf owner.
No adapter is necessary. The quick charge plug plugs into a larger inlet to the left of the normal charge port on your LEAF. It should have a black dust cap rather than the orange dust cap. The dust cap is released using a small release to the right of the inlet.
The following is a link for a Youtube video showing how to use rapid charging on a LEAF. The Video is made for the UK charging network, but plugging into the car is the same the world over. Visit
Or try this Nissan Video
If your car doesn’t have a larger inlet port it probably doesn’t come equipped with fast charging capability. Over 90% of LEAF’s have rapid charging, so be sure you are not over looking the larger port which is under the spring loaded dust cap.
If you’re still stuck visit a Nissan dealer with rapid charging for instruction/assistance.