Nissan LEAF Now Gets Free Public Charging On All The Major Networks (Update)

APR 16 2014 BY JAY COLE 51

Nissan LEAF Makes An Appearance In "The Depths" Of The New York Auto Show

Nissan LEAF Makes An Appearance In “The Depths” Of The New York Auto Show

Building on the strength of a successful “No Charge to Charge” program that ran regionally in Texas through the end of March, that Nissan credits with aiding in a 500% increase in sales, the company has expanded it to 25 more U.S. markets.

These 25 markets are currently responsible for “more than 80 percent of Nissan LEAF sales” today.

Nissan LEAF Tucked Away At NY Autoshow Today

Nissan LEAF Tucked Away At NY Autoshow Today

And unlike the Texas program that was only in conjunction with NRG eVGO stations, LEAF customers can now charge for free (with some limitations – noted below) with a newly created, all access EZ-ChargeSM card – which in this case is good for two years of free public chargers at all the major player’s stations with any purchase of a new Nissan LEAF.

“The “No Charge to Charge” expansion will use the new EZ-ChargeSM card, a first-of-its-kind platform that will offer Nissan LEAF owners access to the leading EV charging networks with a single, all-access card. New owners will receive an EZ-Charge card that will provide access to chargers with ChargePoint, Blink Network from Car Charging Group, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo.”

UPDATE: It should be noted this “free charging program” is good for a maximum of 30 minutes at DC fast chargers and  one hour at L2 stations. (via AutoBlogGreen)

As it stands 30 minutes at a fast charging station can net over 80% recharge on today’s Nissan LEAF, but only up to around 25 miles via L2 in an hour.

The “No Charge to Charge” program will launch on July 1st, 2014 (yet be retroactive to all LEAF purchases from April 1st) in 10 of the LEAF’s best markets:

  • San Francisco
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Nashville
  • Phoenix
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth
  • Houston
  • Washington


“‘No Charge to Charge’ and EZ-Charge are a winning combination, making public charging free and easy for new LEAF buyers,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Aftersales. “Public charging is an important way to provide added range confidence to EV buyers and persuade more shoppers to join the more than 110,000 LEAF drivers around the world.”

Nissan LEAF "No Charge To Charge" Program

Nissan LEAF “No Charge To Charge” Program

Nissan says that after the initial rollout out the company will add “No Charge to Charge” and EZ-Charge at LEAF dealers in “at least 15 additional markets” by July of 2015.

Additionally, at the live announcement at the New York Auto Show this afternoon we asked Nissan if they were going to provide a map of future DC fast chargers (like Tesla does) so their customers will know where they’re coming.  While Nissan said they had no plans at the moment, they “love the idea and said that they will consider doing it now.”

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51 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Now Gets Free Public Charging On All The Major Networks (Update)"

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Very smart marketing program both for Nissan (help alleviate people’s fears) and for the charger networks (get new customers).

Texas should be putting a tax on these charging stations… considering that in Japan to buy any American car it costs double the price of the same car in the US because of their methods of keeping everyone out of their market while coming to the big dumb USA which pays them to dump cars here.
Try to buy a Chevy Volt or a Ford electric in Japan .. it will cost you $80,000… our friends the Japanese.

If you live in Austin, this would cost you $100. 4 * $25 (cost of 6 month unlimited charging from Austin Energy).

If you note it is at PUBLIC charging stations… so anyone can use it (most for a fee). Note the program does NOT include ChargePoin+ so they don’t get Austin.

Hey would you look at that – Nissan CAN learn a thing or two from Tesla. (Although I doubt they would ever admit it). The next step is to create a nationwide network of chargers and put them in logical locations (like major corridors between cities, not just at dealerships).


..and then release a 40kWh car to allow you to miss a station (because it might have been down or with >2 cars waiting) without totally killing your itinerary.

Nissan has always offered free charging at any dealership which sold Leafs, before the first Model S hit the road, although initially it was only L2.

This program goes much further, by offering Leaf drivers access to ALL charging stations, on all the listed networks, for free.

That’s radically better. In a 100-mile radius from where I am, this means hundreds of stations, and 50+ QCs, all over the place — vs only 2 Tesla supercharger sites.

Random sidenote: NY Auto Show is a huge let-down when it comes to anything that plugs-in. We’ll have a couple interesting ditties tonight or tomorrow morning, but not the crushing news reel like in previous shows.

Ask East Coasters about EVs, and most think you’re talking about golf carts. The fact that major automakers aren’t whoring their plugins to non-CARB audiences, should tell you something. 🙁

Oh no! Don’t tell me that. I was going to make the trip down there, too!

Oh well, I’ll probably still go anyway.

Jay – Thanks guys for doing your part and being our voice up there in Newww York Cityyyy1

Big Thumbs up at your efforts! 🙂

If I were a car Charger Network I would be happy in that it would give me a solid base of new customers for the under used car chargers if mine were not being used that much.

The one thing I wounder is would Nissan consider making car charging free for a full lease. Such as if someone were to lease a EV for say four years would they get to have free charging nation wide for that time.

I’ve never heard of a 4 year lease.. But I could see this being done on a 2 or 3 year lease.

I want a 2 year lease. Where can I get one and how much does it cost vs a 3 year lease. (I bet it’s more $/mo)

For the Nissan Leaf it’s actually less because the residual is higher. Unless you get a big check from your state on a 3 year least. Nissan Leaf 2 year lease is actually a pretty good deal, especially so if you don’t intend to put a lot of miles on the car.

I saw the “free to charge” program here in Dallas then saw it was the eVGO network and I said “meh”. Now that it’s any public charger for 2 years, I’m interested. Another point for the LEAF when my i-MiEV lease expires.

Update: One hour on L2? C’mon. That’s crap. Point removed.

Well I’ll be dogged.
Phoenix is on the list.
Great idea Nissan (even if it is a copy)

This is great news. If I understand it, the charging networks do get paid for this (although I’m sure it is a discounted rate). So this will help them out with their business, as well get more people using the stations. I’ve finally been seeing the occasional EV plugged in at EVGo stations around here in DF/W lately. I suspect this program is responsible for that. And when people see EV’s plugged in at these stations, it gets their attention!

Great. Now all public chargers will be filled with new LEAF owners who only care about maximizing the value of their “free” charging, causing extra charging station congestion and preventing paying EV owners from being able to use stations when they really need it.

Whatever Nissan is paying these guys would be better spent on building more infrastructure that can be relied on when needed.

The biggest worry I have when venturing out behind the range of single charge is:

1. Will the charging stations be functional that day?
2. Will the charging station be available if someone else is using it?

Having to wait 15-30 minutes at QC for someone else to finish charging (or worse, longer because they don’t return immediately), or potentially hours at a L2 station makes relying on EV infrastructure a real pain.

But when it’s free and you’re just topping off because you can – it’s awesome!

then just buy a Volt.

i.e. use gas instead of electricity ?

That kind of defeats the purpose of selling the LEAF, no?

“Our free charging program was so successful that all earlier LEAF owners can’t find open plugs in public any more, so they sold their LEAFs and bought Volts and now hate Nissan!”

I have to think that the Nissan Marketing guys didn’t think this one through.

“Leaf Rage”…

Looks like InsideEVs left out a crucial bit of information here that I found on AutoblogGreen

Free charging is limited to 30min on a QC station and 1 hour on L2.

That should limit the amount of plug-hogging that can be done. Hopefully those limits are daily limits…

Hey Dave,

Yes Nissan decided to not release that little snippet of information right out of the gate, lol. We have updated the story with those details. Thanks!

There’s a reality here that people seem to be missing. People don’t charge very much at public L2 chargers, even when they are free. It is so much simpler to charge at home overnight.

This might get more people into a LEAF but I seriously doubt that there will be a huge uptick of charging at public chargers. Public chargers serve to reduce range anxiety, they don’t actually do that much charging.

I agree with you. My FFE is only charged at home on my solar system. I will use my wife’s ICE Kia when traveling outside of my normal local trips. This program would not be of any benefit to me, and I think is more a marketing effort than a real benefit. No doubt, some may benefit from it, and some may get their first EV from the marketing.

And since Blink host agreements give Car Charging Group exclusive control over pricing, they can proceed even if revenue to the host falls lower than the cost of electricity!
Prepare for the pushback….

oh great… missed out again. got mine in Dec. any word if this only applies to sales or are leases included as well?

This seems like a great move in a lot of people’s opinions, but I find this rather viscous. Nissan is not making the competition very easy. Still, it’s nice to see that Nissan is taking down notes from Tesla.

If they really wanted to copy Tesla, they must also allow the existing Leaf owners to opt in to this program for a reasonable fee …

In the USA there must be around 40,000 Leafs already. That is a good number of customers for the networks

Maybe, just maybe Bloomberg should stop attacking the NRA this week and spend his money more wisely on something that has a chance of making a difference, like plugging clean electric cars at the New
York show….

Do you think that is appropriate here?

Are you averse to controversy? If you are – you need not be interested in electric cars. I can think of no two issues that divide like gun control and electric cars. Bloomberg announced today that he is going to use his own money to go up against the NRA – I did not issue my opinion on this issue on this website. I did discuss that Mr. Bloomberg has influence in New York, and since Jay has shared with us that New Yorkers are not very interested in EVs, perhaps Mr. Bloomberg could make much more headway by promoting EV programs. Due to facts that be – the NRA is one very strong contingent in this country – this is a fact. I will inject my opinion here – that his timing would be better getting behind, and educating New Yorkers about cars with plugs rather than go up against this institution in America that goes so deep. Remember Pierce Morgan? Whether you stand behind him in his very outspoken opinions re: gun control in our country, or not – you have to understand he lost his job – not because CNN didn’t mostly back his stance on the… Read more »

Might I say the obvious – timing. We’re discussing the New York Auto Show – the perfect time for Mr. Bloomberg to have a say.
Instead he chooses this week to go after guns.

This is not the forum for this discussion. If you want to hear how Bloomberg wants to keep ILLEGAL guns off the street, there are plenty of other forums for this. (He’s NOT against private, legal gun ownership.)

Bloomberg is no longer NY major.

Me doth thinks though protests too much and is overcompensating for something.

It is pretty crazy to arrange your schedule around “free” charging that is going to save you all of $0.72 per hour, but I know people who do it.

Tragedy of the commons…

The 30 minutes as a fast-charger is worth something. It is not the electricity, it the access to a fast-charger.

SemaConnect with nationwide stations is also a major network, but it was not mentioned to be a part of the program. Neither was GE’s WattStations.

Still no electric love for the east coast?

As batteries get larger, the issue of desperately needing a charge will subside(at least the urgent ones). Larger batteries, more QC, faster on board charging capacity, more abundant workplace charging and the existence of networks such as this will all combine to reduce charging anxiety. Most of us will charge at home, overnight, but we will be able to go further and with less worry if/when these happen. And they will happen…

I like how they exclude their top market: ATLANTA

It’s a nice idea and probably really useful in areas with a ton of QCs.

I have to wonder, though, if Nissan is also going to quietly get their dealership network to open all their QCs for free use by all LEAFs. As it stands, under this program Nissan is letting you use any QC “free of charge” (well, a lot of them are in for-free parking lots, but that’s a nit) except for their own QCs where the dealers are jerks.

Ahh “Free”… There’s always a catch.

I live in the Bay Area – we just got our EZ charge card a few days ago. It is not easy to use. Most stations that you first charge from need to be activated by phone.
There are only 2 “no charge to charge” stations on the penninsula – 3 more in SF.
Unbeknownst to us, we have been charged for every station we used up until we found the two “no charge to charge” stations (too far to be useful- anyway).
I don’t believe there are any DC fast charge stations that are free in our local. The one next to our dealership even charged us.
On the bright side, card does work for most stations.

Thanks Nissan – failed.

schpen, Your the first person I ever heard of that actually got a EZ card. In Arizona we are all still waiting for them.

I bought Nissan Leaf in Seattle, they are misguiding the people intentionally or unintentionally I don’t know. Below are few points that nobody informs you while purchasing the car, you will only know once you encounter the situation:

a) First of all this 2 year program of free charging is not applicable for all the stations, there are very few stations.
b) You can’t charge for more than an hour on L2 station under “no charge to charge” offer, this is a big failure and hidden truth.
c) This is the link on Nissan website that goes here , they say that there are many stations free, I bought my car by looking to this Map but when you go for charging most of them are chargeable, this map is highly inaccurate. I called Nissan and Chargepoint both but they are putting onus on each other.