Nissan has announced that its CARWINGS Information and Communication Technology system (ICT) for EVs will come as standard with the Nissan LEAF in the U.S. and Europe. The system, which allows users to use a mobile phone or PC to remotely check their electric vehicle’s status and control some onboard systems at any time – even when the vehicle is switched off – has been available to Japanese customers since 2007. While it hasn’t been revealed who will provide the wireless connectivity for the system in the U.S., the company has confirmed Telenor Connexion has been chosen as the European connectivity supplier for the vehicle.
Telenor Connexion will be responsible for providing the connection between the LEAF’s onboard transmitting unit and Nissan’s CARWINGS Data Center over a private network. Through the connection, users will have access to their LEAF’s battery status and range, be able to turn on the vehicle’s air conditioning and set charging times in off-peak periods. With climate control one of the biggest drains on an EV’s batteries, the ability to remotely pre-heat or cool the vehicle while it is plugged in is one of the major benefits of the system. Meanwhile, the ability to set charging times during off-peak times is designed to keep electricity bills down.
The first delivery of a Nissan LEAF in the U.S. took place earlier this month and sales of the vehicle in Europe are set for early in 2011. The first European deliveries will be to Portugal, Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands.