On Average “No Charge to Charge” Program Costs Nissan Little Per LEAF

SEP 27 2016 BY MARK KANE 19

Nissan “No Charge to Charge” Program

Nissan “No Charge to Charge” Program

Nissan’s “No Charge to Charge” program, which recently just expanded to 12 more markets over the past month (full list here) doesn’t actually generate high costs to the Japanese manufacturer … at least compared to the exposure the program brings.

2106 Nissan LEAF

2106 Nissan LEAF

In its a recent statement, Nissan said that participating LEAF owners have saved $4.2 million so far.

“Since the program kicked off in the summer of 2014, owners have saved over $4.2 million in public charging fees.”

Between summer 2014 and summer 2016 Nissan sold in the U.S. about 44,000 LEAFs (from June 2014 to the end of July 2016).

Because LEAF sales are currently entering ‘year 2’ of an extended depression, two thirds of those participating (about 30,000) fall inside the first year of the program, while one third on the second year.

Initially, there was only a few markets with “No Charge to Charge” program (although those were largest markets) and the promotion expanded gradually. Obviously, we don’t know exactly how many cars were included – but maybe half to two thirds the total (more likely).

2016 Nissan LEAF & CHAdeMO plug

2016 Nissan LEAF & CHAdeMO plug

If we assume $4.2 million savings in the first two years, and another two years to the end of total period for newest cars (with lower LEAF sales, but higher number of markets), “No Charge” could bring savings of some $8.4 million.

$8.4 million per 44,000 cars is just $190 on average.  If only half of the cars were participating in the program, then it would be $380 per LEAF (participating). We would bet that, on average, owners savings is somewhere between $190 and $380 per LEAF participating in the program.

Nissan says that some owners could save $1,000 in two years.

“No Charge to Charge” program can save new LEAF owners as much as $1,000 over two years and up to $10 per charge”

All the values are owner’s savings. Because Nissan pays for charging, and even at that, we assume they have negotiated much better deals with some charging networks, and the realized costs for Nissan are lower than $4.2 million so far.

Free charging for two years is pretty nice promotion, and encourages new prospective BEV owners to purchase. With a likely cost of just a couple hundred bucks – it’s a good way to go from a marketing stand point, and a much better promotional tool than a few more dollars of the MSRP.

Categories: Charging, Nissan

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19 Comments on "On Average “No Charge to Charge” Program Costs Nissan Little Per LEAF"

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I’m glad it is working out for them. Reliability is still an issue for some of the network providers in the program. At Tesla superchargers there are several chargers, if one is broken, you just use another. If you pull up to a lonely CHAdeMO DCFC and it is broken, you are out of luck.

If you pull up to two charger mall, and there are two Leaf with no-charge-to-charge using them, because they’d rather get free than charge at home, you’re also out of luck. While there have been broken chargers once or twice, there have been dozens of times waiting for Leaf with NCTC. Often, they are already way above 80% and charging very slowly, as low as 3 kW using 50 kW charger.

Nissan with their crappy battery is not only making their customers wait at DCFC, but making all EV waste time with NCTC. They wouldn’t need this if they came up with better EV 3 years ago; pushing almost 7 year old car with NCTC is beyond lame.

Free charging SUCKS!

I have to think that the convenience of home charging would outweigh the “free” factor, for most people who can install a home EVSE. Maybe you’re running into a lot of apartment-dwelling Leaf owners?

Tesla has their own charging stations, and Volts can go to gas stations if they have to. Those models, plus Leaves, are the lion’s share of U.S. EV sales to date. So, even without NCTC, I think the average car at a public charger is likely to be Leaf.

Imagine if GM did this for the Bolt EV…

Imagine if GM had simply opted to use the open Tesla Supercharger standard.

With 230 miles of range which is more than some Model S cars… it would be instantly capable of travelling around the country.

I don’t think Tesla’s supercharger is an “Open Standard” If you disagree, please post some supporting data

The reality is there really isn’t that many quick chargers for the leafs out there. If someone wanted free charging they would spent more on power and time getting to the quick charger then charging at home.

The reality is that quick chargers are *very* useful in metropolitan areas!

I drive my Leaf in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex – roughly the same size as New Hampshire. It’s fairly easy to exceed the 84 mile range when doing business in Dallas, Fort Worth, the mid-cities, Alliance, Waco, and Weatherford.

Happily, I can stop for a 15 minute quick charge with no impact to my schedule, and often at no charge, since numerous CHAdeMO stations are scattered around (many already support the upcoming Bolt’s CCS quick charge port as well).

Don’t knock what you’ve never tried!


Ford gave me 3 years free charging and even here in L.A. I have yet to use it at all. Not enough station in convenient locations.

They might have spent less than 1% of their marketing budget but spread a lot more good will.

You mean spreading bad will. Free charging inevitably leads to shortages and make everyone unhappy. Nissan failed econ 101.

Free market ideology says more chargers will be built to meet the demand.

The article neglects to point out that Nissan has built up DCQC in these areas prior to adding them to the no-charge to charge program

I think this is a great bonus/deal sweetener for many a leaf convert but I doubt it makes a huge difference in the purchasing leasing decision and I am concerned that it may motivate folks who don’t really need charge to charge more often and fir a longer period of time than they need to. I would rather that they have a good Dutch program and pick up half of the charging fees for three years abd put the savings into supporting more charging infrastructure.

If there’s one cheap way to kill EV, it’s to offer free charging to clueless public (ie, like many Leaf drivers). They’ll clog up the chargers so much that DCFC will be unusable, because they’d rather get free than pay to charge at home.

If GM, Koch or anti-EV group wants to kill EV, just give free charging when Bolt and other longer range EV are on the market. DCFC will be hopelessly clogged with locals trying to get free charge (over an hour with Bolt) that even sporadic use will be all but impossible.

In this regard, GM is doing absolutely good for EV by not offering free charging. I have to wonder why the Nissan and BMW are trying to kill EV, or are they just clueless flunkies of econ 101.

I don’t think that assessment is accurate, most charge at home, they won’t drive out of their way to charge for free. It is just a good promotional offer that does not cost much.

I’m sure the ONE charger in Knoxville is really costing them a lot.

So to all the nay sayers, how often have you gone to the charger and found it to be blocked? Once, twice, more than that? And how do you determine that the users have NCTC? If the charger is at a mall, then wouldn’t it be the same if you used the charger? is: plug in and go shopping?
Agreed there needs to be more chargers, and the industry needs to polarise on a standard (I think CCS will be the winner), but let’s face it, not even 10 years of EV in any quantities, so it is early days.
I don’t think other manufacturers will take on Tesla SC and I doubt many of them will built chargers themselves, it just seems to go against their business model, even if Tesla send to have shown it is a good model.
ICE model, we build cars and someone else build the way to refuel them. ICE manufacturers are just perpetuating this model.