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Nissan gets set to launch ‘No Charge to Charge’ incentive for Leaf buyers

Nissan Motor Co. has announced an initiative in hopes of enticing more consumers to purchase a Leaf, its electric car. The initiative, entitled “No Charge to Charge,” will cover free battery charging for two years to all new buyers in certain markets starting July 1, 2014. According to the company’s press release announcing the initiative, “No Charge to Charge” will launch in 25 U.S. markets where the bulk of Nissan Leaf sales have occurred.

What markets are included?

Nissan said the top markets where this initiative will be launched covers about 80 percent of Leaf sales. The first 10 markets eligible for the will include San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Washington, D.C. After it rolls out in these areas, another 15 markets will be added during 2015. The carmaker said more details on additional cities will be shared at a later date as the initiative’s launch comes closer.

How will ‘No Charge to Charge’ work?

The program will work through the company issuing out cards to eligible consumers owning a Leaf. It is described as a “first-of-its-kind platform” all-access card. The card can be used by consumers at a number of different brands of charging stations including ChargePoint, Blink Network from Car Charging Group, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo.

“Nissan’s commitment to mass-market electric cars is matched by our commitment to increase charging infrastructure for LEAF owners,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan EV Infrastructure and Strategy, in the press release. “EZ-Charge is a natural progression of our multi-pronged commitment to developing EV charging at workplace campuses, at Nissan LEAF dealerships and in the communities where LEAF drivers live and work.”
As TIME notes, the free charging is only for when consumers are out and about using charging stations; it does not cover charging done at home. Many electric car owners plug in and let their vehicles charge overnight.

Who is eligible?

Consumers in the designated markets who buy a Leaf car on or after April 1, 2014 are eligible to receive the two free years of charging. New car buyers will receive the EZ-Charge card with their purchase on or after July 1, while car owners who bought between April 1 and July 1 will receive an EZ-Charge card retroactively, Nissan said.

More and more manufacturers are trying to push the idea of electric-powered vehicles, however, this type of car has a long way to go before it captures any major amount of the overall car market. Tesla sold “at least” 22,450 of its Model S electric cars and General Motors sold 23,094 of its Chevrolet Volt model, while Nissan sold 22,610 Leafs in 2013, according to Green Car Reports. Hybrid cars have also been making some gains.

At this time there is no news on how much the free charging incentive is going to cost Nissan, according to Bloomberg. Will the “No Charge to Charge” incentive convince more consumers to purchase a Leaf? Time will tell, but either way, it is not a bad perk for consumers residing in the markets where it will become available.