Not all Nissan Leaf owners work or play within their round-trip range of about 80 miles. At least for these, easy access to a charging station is an important consideration.
Easy access is what was planned for Nissan Leaf owners, in the No Charge to Charge program, as well as the EZ-Charge Card, but there has been a major hiccup, just before launching the program in California. No Charge to Charge, you’ll recall, recently boosted Nissan Leaf sales in Texas by some 300% in a very short time, with the promise of free access to electric vehicle charging stations for an entire year. What could possibly make it easier to own a Nissan Leaf?
Prospective Nissan Leaf owners in California, I’m sure, were set to rejoice when news that the No Charge to Charge program would launch. Another nice bit of news was the EZ-Charge Card, giving Nissan Leaf owners access to electric vehicle charging stations from four different networks, including ChargePoint, NRG eVgo, AeroVironment, and Blink networks.
The single access card would have made it easy for Nissan Leaf owners to get a charge, without all the craziness involved with multiple credit statements or multiple subscriptions but, mere hours before the official launch of the program, ChargePoint backed out, for reasons that aren’t really satisfying. This leaves both programs, the No Charge to Charge and EZ-Charge Card programs, about 17,000 charging stations short of their original plans.
First, ChargePoint apparently sees NRG as a competitor, which does nothing for Nissan Leaf owners. If they want access to some 17,000 ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations in California, Nissan Leaf owners will have to get a second subscription for access. ChargePoint says that it wasn’t sure what NRG, heading up the programs, would do with its private customer information.
Second, ChargePoint wanted to have its own toll-free number on the back of the card, which would be used in case Nissan Leaf owners had a problem charging on one of its stations. The single number, going to NRG, would have been a far easier way for customers to interact with any of the four companies. This is a big loss for Nissan Leaf owners, as these programs are supposed to make things easier, not harder. Thank you, ChargePoint.
Photo credit: Loco Steve