2011 Nissan Leaf, Nashville, October 2010Enlarge Photo
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.
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
There are still cheaper options
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.
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.