If you want to own an electric car, having a 220-240V plugging station installed in your garage or carport is a basic requirement for both convenience and getting the best battery life out of your vehicle. And, if the Nissan Leaf is on your shopping list, the cost of purchasing and installing the factory-approved station just went down by $382.00.

The home charging unit, created by Nissan's charging partner, AeroVironment, has a new price point of $1,818 fully installed - down from the original price of $2,200. Some states (like California and a few others) offer charging station rebates as high as $1,000 as a further cost savings.

Nissan's program includes not only the cost of the unit, but on-site consultation, charging dock installation, hands-on user training, 3-year hardware and service warranty and 24/7 single point-of-contact availability - meaning an 800 number to call if you have any issues.

The AeroVironment folks are also able to do charging system testing, verification, household load analysis and recommendations, but your local utility company must also be called to verify that the 30 amps or more needed for the charging station can be handled by your current electrical setup. If additional electrical work is needed, those costs rise above and beyond the product and installation, so it's recommended to handle that beforehand.

Nissan is wise to cut pricing for the UL approved J1772 plug they recommend, which is the agreed-upon standard for all EVs going forward. With plenty of competitive products looking to get into the charging station game, many are already less expensive and some prefer to find their own electrician as another cost variable. But by building a factory program with a warranty and customer support system, Nissan hopes to keep electrical issues "in the family" when it comes to charging up the Leaf.

"Nissan and AeroVironment have teamed up to provide a seamless, one-stop shopping experience to consumers for home charger installation through Nissan's dealer network, and we're happy to offer the same services at a price that is now even better for our customers," said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Leaf marketing and sales strategy, Nissan North America.

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Joni Gray is a long-standing member of the automotive industry and has worked on both the corporate and publishing sides of the business. Over the past 20 years, she has managed advertising and marketing programs at Mazda, Hyundai and Honda and has been an editor at both Kelley Blue Book and the Los Angeles Times.

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