Nissan Leaf with DC fast charger

Nissan has installed the first of 400 quick-charging electric-vehicle chargers in Europe that it's planning to deploy during the next few years, the Detroit News reports.

The Japanese automaker, which along with alliance partner Renault is said to be investing more than $5 billion (U.S.) in electric-vehicle and infrastructure development, will install 40 quick chargers each in France and the Netherlands. Once the Dutch chargers are deployed, all of the country's drivers will be within 20 miles of a Nissan quick charger. The chargers use the CHAdeMO standard and can recharge an EV like a Nissan Leaf to 80 percent capacity within 30 minutes.

Last month, Nissan launched a campaign called "The Big Turn On" that uses social media to entice people to compete for free quick chargers. As part of the contest, the automaker is giving away other prizes ranging from tablet computers to Nissan Leafs.

Nissan said in February that it was looking to sell as many as 2,000 DC quick-charging stations in the U.S. within the next two years, according to Green Car Reports. Nissan said last fall that it would be able to sell quick charging stations for as little as $9,900, which is about half the price of a more typical DC quick-charging station.