• Free access to charging stations for two years
  • 25 U.S. markets
  • Launches July 1, 2014

Nissan announced that it will expand its "No Charge to Charge" offer, giving buyers and lessees of the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV) free access to more public charging stations. The program began last year in only two Texas markets: Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Soon, Nissan will offer free charging to Leaf drivers in 25 U.S. markets, giving Leaf drivers two years of free charging at any of four charging networks.

In the first phase of its national rollout, Nissan's program will continue in Texas and expand to cities from the West Coast to the mid-Atlantic. Three California cities -- San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento -- are included. New Leaf buyers and lessees in Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Phoenix; Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C. can also take advantage of free charging.

A single access card called EZ-Charge lets Leaf drivers charge for free at public charging networks by ChargePoint, Blink Network, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo. The flexibility of using one card for any of four networks should make charging easier and more convenient for Nissan Leaf drivers.

Free charging means lower fuel costs, too. Electric vehicles are already very inexpensive to operate. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the annual fuel cost for the Nissan Leaf, for example, is at just $550 over 15,000 miles. That's a fraction of the cost of driving even the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles. Factoring in some free charging, fuel costs for the Leaf may dip even further for some drivers.

As EV charging infrastructure expands, EVs become increasingly practical. Limited range in many electric vehicles keeps some would-be EV drivers from taking the step away from gasoline. But more charging stations and faster chargers are helping bring electric vehicles into the mainstream, especially in larger cities.

Nissan's "No Charge to Charge" program begins July 1, 2014. The automaker will also retroactively provide the EZ-Charge card and free charging deal to anyone in the 10 initial markets who bought or leased a Leaf on or after April 1, 2014.

Nissan says it will launch the free charging program in 15 additional markets in 2015, but the automaker has not yet announced a list of cities.

What it means to you: Ready to go electric and save on fuel? Now's the time if you live in one of 10 cities where Nissan is offering its 2-year free charging program.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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