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Nissan Drops 2012 Leaf Charging Station Price. Is It Cheap Enough?

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2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010

2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010

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Yesterday, Nissan announced that it had reduced the price of its official 2012 Nissan Leaf home charging station to make it more affordable to Leaf drivers. 

But while Nissan has dropped the price of a standard supply and installation of the Nissan-branded Aerovironment charging station from $2,200 to $1,818, we think it still isn’t low enough.  

Here’s why.

Installation costs will vary

For owners who live in houses with enough electrical capacity left to provide the necessary 7.2 kilowatts of power to the charging station and have a breaker box within easy reach of the proposed charging station location, the Level 2 Nissan-branded charging station will only cost them $1818. 

But live in an older house which will require electrical upgrades, or a home where your breaker box isn’t near your garage, and you’ll be in for additional charges.  In fact, we’ve heard of stories where official installation quotes have gone well into several thousand dollars. 

The actual charging station costs less

If you think Nissan is charging so much because the Areoviornment unit is expensive, then think again. 

Although Nissan is now charging $1,818 for a basic charging station installation, customers can contact Aerovironment directly to purchase the charging station as a cash-and-carry unit for for around $800.  Although most states require the unit to be fitted by an approved electrician, many Leaf owners are getting their local electricians to install charging stations for between $200 and $500

In fact, even Olivier Chalouhi, the first Nissan Leaf customer in the U.S., saved around $900 by buying his charging station direct from Aeroviornment and paying his local electrician to install it. 

Clipper Creek LCS-25 Charging Station

Clipper Creek LCS-25 Charging Station

There are still cheaper options

For those wanting a cheaper charging station option, there are plenty to chose from, ranging from DIY fit options from a range of companies through to ones small enough to fit in your car’s trunk.

For those who don’t mind having a modified Nissan Leaf portable charging cable, you can even get the portable 110V charging chord that came with your car upgraded to charge your car at a full 3.8 kilowatts from a nearby 240-volt drier outlet.

And for those with the know-how, there’s even a charging station you can build yourself.

The point?

While it’s good to see the price of official, manufacturer-approved charging stations drop, there are just too many other alternatives now on the market retailing at a lower price to justify charging $1818 for a charging station. 

Would you pay $1818 for a Nissan-branded charging station? Let us know in the Comments below. 

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Comments (7)
  1. I purchased a Schneider EVSE from Home Depot (for $729) and installed it myself. Probably $800 total. Both AV & SPX (Volt) are charging way too much. Smart buyers will contact a local electrician to do the wiring and install.
     
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  2. The installation cost by AV & SPX (Volt)is overpriced but their EVSEs are cheaper. The average price for an EVSE unit is over $1000. The AV, SPX and the Schnieder are the least expensive ESVS available.
     
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  3. Nissan's price is still too expensive. Prices should continue to come down over time. How much time? That is hard to say. Installation cost will remain the same or increase some, but the cost of producing the units should decrease.
     
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  4. When I was much younger, my dad bought me a train set for Christmas. The writing on the box said ready to run. Well it was not ready to run, it had NO transformer. Quite an important part for a train set. These electric vehicles are turning out to be the same. The car company should include these chargers at no cost to the customer. Should the customer decide to sell the vehicle it should be sold with car as well. The whole idea is to get more people interested and off of petroleum based fuels. It should be a simple inexpensive process.
     
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  5. 5,700 Nissan LEAF owners and 2,600 Chevrolet Volt owners will be receiving a free Blink EVSE, including installation, as part of the EVProject.
     
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  6. AV's service is horrendous. I have never experienced such a low customer service. I have just ordered a Leviton station. Even if the price doesn't deter you from buying AV, their customer service should.
     
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  7. I just got my charging station installed by going with SPX (VOLT). What a rip off. They jack up the installation prices to negate any incentives you may have gotten. For example they charged $1000 for the installation. The installation only took 1 hr. That's $1000/hr and another $200 for obtaining permits. I reluctantly went with them just to get the free charging station. They would not allow me to use my own electrician. Local electrician charges only $150 / hr. Anyone experiencing the same? Can we do anything about this?
     
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