Nissan has launched its No Charge to Charge program, which offers new LEAF buyers (and lessees) two years of free public charging, in 10 metro areas around the country. These 10 markets have around 2,600 public charging stations, including over 200 quick chargers. Nissan plans to expand the deal to at least 15 more US markets over the next year.
“Free charging is a great way for Nissan and our charging partners to make LEAF an unbeatable value for the average American driver,” Brendan Jones, Nissan’s Director of EV Sales and Infrastructure, told AutoblogGreen. “The popularity of No Charge to Charge since our April announcement shows that public charging spurs range confidence and additional LEAF sales.”
Drivers can locate participating chargers using a smartphone app and use the new EZ-Charge card to operate the stations. EZ-Charge card holders can also gain access to five different networks – ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo – with the single card.
[Note: Not all chargers accessible with the EZ-Charge card are included in the No Charge to Charge program.]
Chargepoint, one of the largest networks, caused a big stir in May when it pulled out of the program just before the official launch party, but is now back on board, Jones confirmed. He didn’t say exactly what the problem was, but it had to do with data and customer management.
The convenience of having a single card to access multiple networks may be as big a selling point as free charging. “The more complexity we reduce, the more sales we get,” Jones said. “Interoperability has always been a big concern. Now that many of the early adopters drive an EV, the next target audience are the people who are telling EV companies ‘Make this easy for me and I will adopt.’”
Updated 1 – 7/11/14 1:30PM EST: As Nissan pointed out in it’s press release, “not all chargers accessible with the EZ-Charge card are included in the No Charge to Charge program.” Presumably, this includes the chargers on the ChargePoint network that are not already free to use but have a fee that is set by the individual site hosts. As soon as these tidbits become more clear, we’ll bring you the details.
Updated 2: Confirmed: ChargePoint is participating in the EZ-Charge program giving Leaf owners the ability to access multiple charging networks with one single card, and not participating in the No Charge to Charge program. Although, the company points out that about 60 percent of stations on the ChargePoint network are already free to use.