Nissan to Include L.A in its “No Charge to Charge” Leaf Promotion
Los Angeles has been added by Nissan to its “No Charge to Charge” promotion for the Leaf electric vehicle on Aug. 15. The program provides free access with an EZ-Charge card to public charging stations for two years. Vehicles bought in Los Angeles after July 1 will be retroactively added to the promotion. The program was launched by Nissan in September 2013 in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas.
Since then, “No Charge to Charge” has expanded to San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Nashville, Phoenix, Washington, Portland, Ore.; and Sacramento, Calif. In the next year, Nissan has plans to add 14 markets. Customers who buy Leafs in these areas can charge their vehicles for free at participating ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo stations. The promotion includes fast chargers, which can charge the Leaf’s battery to 80 percent in a half hour. According to Brendan Jones, director of Nissan electric vehicle sales and infrastructure, “Adding free access to public fast charging in the LA market gives us a competitive edge over other vehicles, regardless of their fuel source.”
When the Leaf was first introduced in 2010, the sales struggled in the United States. The sales of the electric vehicle failed to top 1,000 per month until May 2011. Sales then slid to 510 in May 2012, but increased to 2,138 in May 2013. Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn., plant began making the Leaf in December 2012. This year in the United States, Nissan sold 2,347 Leafs in June. During the first six months, U.S. sales of the Leaf rose 29 percent to 12,736. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it costs about $2.64 to fully charge a vehicle with a 70-mile range in a residential charging station. The 2014 Leaf has a range of 84 miles. California provides additional incentives for electric vehicles, including a $2,500 tax rebate and access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes.