Nissan’s Free Electric Car Charging Program Starts In Select U.S. Markets

Buy a brand new Nissan LEAF electric car in one of Nissan’s top ten LEAF markets in the U.S. this summer, and you won’t be paying to charge your car in public for two whole years.

If you own a Nissan LEAF, you can charge for free in public -- if you nab an EZ-Charge card at your local LEAF dealer.

If you own a Nissan LEAF, you can charge for free in public in ten top LEAF markets — if you nab an EZ-Charge card at your local LEAF dealer.

That’s the message from Nissan North America, whose No Charge to Charge program is now in full operation throughout San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Washington, D.C.

Announced back in April, Nissan’s No Charge to Charge program mimics the ‘free charging for life’ buisness model currently operated by Tesla Motors with for its Model S customers. Working alongside charging providers ChargePoint, CarCharging Group (inc. the Blink network), AeroVironment and NRG eVgo, the program gives LEAF owners free and unmetered access to AC fast and DC quick charging points throughout the ten cities via a brand-new EZ-Charge RFID card.

Worthy of note here is the fact that that ChargePoint — a provider which backed out of the initial agreement in May after it discovered that user data would be shared with all partners and that the EZ-Charge scheme was being operated by rival NRG eVgo — is back on board with the scheme.

While the EZ-Charge card will be used by Nissan to offer free access and power from more than 2,600 charging stations in the ten launch markets of the program, it’s worth noting that the card also gives LEAF owners access to other charging stations not taking part in the program.

In other words, some charging stations accessible with the EZ-Charge card will still require some form of payment to be made for their use. To help users differentiate which are free charging stations and which aren’t, Nissan says several websites, including EZ-Charge.com and PlugShare.com clearly mark charging stations which are part of the No Charge to Charge program. 

Charge your Nissan LEAF for free in certain key Markets, including San Francisco.

Charge your Nissan LEAF for free in certain key Markets, including San Francisco.

Nissan says there are currently more than 200 DC quick chargers already part of the scheme, located everywhere from dealer lots to shopping malls and freeway rest stops. Capable of providing a 0-80 per cent charge to a CHAdeMO-compatible Nissan LEAF in just 30 minutes, it’s likely the majority of EZ-Charge events will be at CHAdeMO charge stations.

That’s something Nissan is acutely aware of, saying it plans to dramatically increase the number of DC quick charge stations operating under the program as it continues its drive to add up to 500 DC quick chargers at dealers and public spaces throughout LEAF key markets.

Finally, if you live outside of the ten launch markets of the No Charge to Charge program, you’ll be pleased to know that Nissan is adding another fifteen key markets in the coming months to the program, so you stand a chance of being able to charge up for free, at least for the next two years, if you’ve just recently purchased a LEAF.

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  • Alan Larson

    The program was supposed to start July 1, but they haven’t gotten the cards out to many of the customers yet (as of the 10th).nnChargePoint was expected to be participating, but isn’t really – with them all you save is carrying a tiny plastic ChargePoint card that weighs next to nothing.nnThe map on ez-harge’s web site shows only a very few chargers available for “No Charge to Charge”.nnSo, one carries one card instead of three. Given that the cards are small and light, and the Leaf provides ample places to store the three cards, there seems to be almost no benefit to this program.nnToo bad. It had sounded good when the salesman was telling me about it and I was contemplating charging away from my home 37.7 cent/kWh PG&E power. I bought it – perhaps I should have been more skeptical.

  • Nitin

    this is a publicity gimmick by Nissan. I bought my Nissan Leaf less than a month ago from a dealership which is just outside of San Diego, although I live and charge in San Diego. I called up the dealership and Nissan about the card and they both said that the card is available to customers who buy from a dealership located in San Diego. So, I won’t get the card even though I’ll be charging in San Diego