Nissan to add L.A. to 'No Charge to Charge' Leaf promotion

Nissan will add Los Angeles 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.

Nissan launched the program 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. Nissan said it expects to add 14 markets in the next year.

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.

“Adding free access to public fast charging in the LA market gives us a competitive edge over other vehicles, regardless of their fuel source,” Brendan Jones, director of Nissan electric vehicle sales and infrastructure, said in a statement.

After the Leaf’s introduction in 2010, its sales struggled in the United States, failing 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.

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