First 2011 Nissan Leaf delivered to buyer, San Francisco, Dec 2010, photo by Eugene Lee

First 2011 Nissan Leaf delivered to buyer, San Francisco, Dec 2010, photo by Eugene Lee

We’re often contacted by would-be electric car owners worried that they will not be able to have the required EVSE installed at their home. 

But the first ever 2011 Nissan LEAF customer to take delivery of their new car isn’t a home-owner. Olivier Chalouhi rents an home in Redwood City, California with his wife and two children.

For him, getting an electric car was a no-brainer, even though installing a garage charge station puts other renters off electric cars. 

The 31 year-old entrepreneur works in the San Francisco bay area and works just 10 miles from his home. His 2011 LEAF SL will replace his electric bicycle as commuting vehicle of choice. 

Chalouhi was the first person to reserve a LEAF online when reservations opened in April this year.  Nissan therefore felt it fair that he be the first person to receive his 2011 production LEAF. 

But while he knew he wanted to drive electric Chalouhi initially planned to recharge his electric car using the standard 110V outlet found in the garage of his rented home. 

Charging the LEAF is possible at 110V, 15A but the 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack would take over 14 hours from empty.  

The lure of a faster, more convenient charging solution soon called to him however, and Chalouhi decided that his electric car experience would benefit from using Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) capable of charging his car twice as quickly as the 110V outlet.

First getting permission from his landlord, Chalouhi approached official LEAF EVSE contractor AeroVironment to request one of their Level 2 home charge stations. 

But as we’ve discovered before, AreoVironment charge upwards of $2,200 for a standard install of their wall-mounted charge station, while the unit itself is available to buy for just $750

Taking the initiative, Chalouhi found a local electrician willing to install the unit for $550, saving him $900. 

While Chalouhi shows that even those renting homes can own an electric car those with apartments or homes without garages do face an additional headache in switching to electric: the search for somewhere to charge up when you can't park next to your home.

On behalf of the HighGearMedia team we’d like to wish Mr. Chalouhi the most hearty of congratulations on his new arrival.

[Nissan]