Grey Market Opens For Nissan “No Charge To Charge” EZ-Charge Cards

3 years ago by Jay Cole 22

Nissan "No Charge To Charge" EZ-Charge Card Pops Up On Craigslist

Nissan “No Charge To Charge” EZ-Charge Card Pops Up On Craigslist

This summer Nissan initiated a “No Charge to Charge” program in conjunction with the “EZ-Charge” – a one card system provided by four major EVSE networks.

Nissan LEAF "No Charge To Charge" Program Expands Free Charging Options To LEAF Owners

Nissan LEAF “No Charge To Charge” Program Expands Free Charging Options To LEAF Owners

And not unexpectedly, some participants are looking to take advantage of the system by selling their cards to other EV owners (that could also make use of the system) for an ill-gotten profit.

We spoke with Brendan Jones, director of EV Sales and Infrastructure at Nissan about the program this past July (full details and interview here), about the program – and basically for all new LEAF purchases (or leases) in selected areas, new owners would receive 2 free years of public charging at participating stations through the use of the EZ-Charge card.

Now a recent Craigslist ad from a person(s)/dealership in Santa Clara states for $350 you can purchase a Nissan-activated EZ-Charge card and receive all the benefits that come with it:

Unused EZ-Card, free public electric charge for Nissan Leaf for two years. No charge to charge.  $350 only.
We have this extra card for sell. This is for leaf owner who is not eligible for this awesome Nissan program!
Interested please reply, worth of estimated $1500 electric charge in 2 years.

Interestingly, Nissan themselves values the card at $1,012.

We feel we should take this opportunity to warn those persons interested in acquiring free charging for their non-LEAF vehicle that these types of sales are in no way legal.

“Le fine print” via Nissan on the “No Charge To Charge” Program:

The approximate retail value of the offer is up to $1012, but may vary by market. Offer is subject to change at any time and/or is subject to early termination without notice. This offer is not compatible with other offers, is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Fleet customers not eligible.

Hat tip to Doug!

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22 responses to "Grey Market Opens For Nissan “No Charge To Charge” EZ-Charge Cards"

  1. QCO says:

    People will sell anything, but I wouldn’t have predicted this would be an issue.

    You just forked over $30k for a car that comes with a card that saves your bacon if you got caught too far from home one day. Who in their right mind would sell that?

    Is he also selling the spare tire?

    1. bro1999 says:

      Perhaps someone who already has a free charging infrastructure they can take advantage of? (free work charge stations, free public charging near places they frequent, etc…)

      I’m curious how Nissan would even know if the card was being used by the original recipient. Most public L2 charging stations can’t tell what kind of EV is hooked up. Only way to have an idea is to see what the max charging rate is for a session.

    2. ggpa says:

      What spare tyre?

      😉

      1. Jesse Gurr says:

        The spare tire in a can?

  2. Aaron says:

    I mentioned that I’m likely leasing a LEAF in January, and I’ve already gotten inquiries from people wanting to buy my card. I’ll sell it because it’s nearly worthless to me.

  3. Assaf says:

    Haha, we just picked ours yesterday @Eastside Nissan after 2 months of waiting in vain for the card administrators to send us one…

    For the record, for us (and I presume many others) the card’s biggest value is in QC. The L2 is limited to the first 1 hour of each session, while QC gives you 30 minutes. Yesterday evening we already cashed in, at the top of Snoqualmie Pass, getting a free Aerovironment QC (well I hope it’s free, will double-check our credit card account…) that till yesterday would have cost $7.86 + 5-10 minutes of phone time.

    The Blinks around here would cost $4-7, I think, with their new per-KWh rate.

    Still, I would have hesitated to put down $350 for this. Surely when it’s “grey market” as Jay aptly described it. More like $100-150 tops, unless your schedule requires a QC stop at least once per week.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Glad to see you finally got your card Assaf!

      1. Assaf says:

        Oh yeah, and thanks Jay for the help! It was your replies that have eventually led me to ping the dealership instead of corporate Nissan or the card-issuing folks.

  4. Steve says:

    Is it really illegal? What law has been broken. Nissan will not officially transfer title, but is it really illegal to let somebody else use the card for free or financial gain?

    1. Assaf says:

      The card is linked to a VIN. You or Nissan must provide a VIN to activate it.

      Nissan definitely pays those charging companies and the card company some $$, or gives them some other $$-equivalent, under the assumption that it is this VIN EV that is enjoying the benefit.

      If you’re the same person who bought the qualifying Leaf and are using it on another vehicle, then it’s probably a “light grey” case slightly outside the intended use.

      But if you’ve sold the benefit to someone else, one might argue their use fraudulent.

      It seems similar to getting, say, a discount Metro-transit pass (youth/elderly/etc.) based on your qualifying ID, then selling it to a third party.

    2. Yoyodyn says:

      It may not be illegal in the sense that you could go to jail, but it violates the terms and conditions of the agreement with Nissan, and so they could cancel the card. Perhaps some kind of breach of contract suit? IANAL.

    3. Ambulator says:

      It is probably illegal. This is a matter of contract law.

    4. JRMW says:

      “What law has been broken?”

      Contract law.

      The contract allows the Leaf owner a card for temporary personal use. Selling the card breaks the contract.

      It’s not too dissimilar from buying a movie on iTunes and then copying it and selling it to others.

      It’s irritating that people feel the need to cheat as it ruins the chances for future Nissan buyers.

      That said, a better program would be to pay all or a % of the purchase price of an in-garage charger/ EVSE for new Leaf owners.

      1. GSP says:

        More like buying a DVD or a book, then reselling it. No copies were made.

        GSP

        1. KC says:

          I think it’s more like selling a gift card that received as bonus to a purchase.

          Like I replaced my windshield, got a $50 gift card and then sold it.

    5. Just_Chris says:

      Selling something that you own is not illegal unless you sign something to say that you will only use it with your Leaf or will not sell it, I am not sure what the law in the states is around conditions of sale but I suspect what Nissan are selling is the service not the card so who ever buys the card is taking electrons illegally because the service is for the owner of the eligible Nissan leaf owner not Joe blow who bought the card on eBay for his I-miev.

      I suspect that the card says somewhere on it that it is the property of Nissan the implication is that they are just lending it to you, by selling it you could end up in hot water. I am really surprised that the card can’t be locked to a specific Leaf especially for use with the DC QC stations, these are not just plugs. There is constant communication between the vehicle and the station. I think the cars can also send data to Nissan.

      With this in mind I suspect at some time in the future the car or the QC charge station are going to tell Nissan what you are doing at which point the seller and/or the buyer are likely to have to spend time on the naughty chair.

  5. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

    I suppose some people could take advantage of the card but, even at $350, it doesn’t seem like a good deal. At $1012, nfw. It’s hard to put an actual value on something like this because of the limitations.

    As to being illegal – no it’s not. It’s more like a disclaimer on the back of a ticket stub. I’m not even sure how Nissan could prove it wasn’t for the car since they don’t run the infrastructure. It might be possible for the charge companies to link an account with a specific car. Does Nissan create the account and provide VIN? Even then, I doubt there is a way to determine what car actually charged on the account.

    1. Just_chris says:

      It probably is illegal, the deal appears to be you buy a new leaf and Nissan will pay for the times you use the public charging stations for 24 months.

      As for being difficult to police probably not, at some stage Nissan will be presented a bill for all the ‘free’ charging at which point all Nissan have to do is present the data to show that the car was not anywhere near the charging station when the card was being used. This could be done in a million ways, probably the simplest would be the app that let’s u turn on the ac, that means the car has a SIM card in it which can be used to give the rough location anywhere in mobile phone range.

  6. Anon says:

    Bad English in the ad, makes me think “scam” immediately…

  7. Spec9 says:

    This is the free market at work. Some Leaf owners really don’t need this program and some other EV owners might use a lot of public charging. Hence, a transaction takes place.

    I’m fine with it. I’d rather have some who will use the public charging infrastructure more use it so we don’t have so many of those stories about “We installed this public charger but NO ONE USES IT!”

  8. Ellison says:

    Can people tap the card to help other drivers pay for their charge? I would be really in to this becoming popular, shared cards.

  9. Jesse Gurr says:

    According to the picture, the card may not even be activated yet. If that is the case, then that is probably why they ask specifically for someone who owns a LEAF. So you can register the card with your own LEAF and not the seller’s.