Nissan Will Charge Electric Leaf Vehicles for Free

Apr 18, 2014 01:20 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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Nissan has launched a new program called "No Charge To Charge" that will cover all costs to plug in new Nissan Leaf vehicles at public charging stations starting July 1.

Drivers who purchase or lease a new Leaf will be given a card to access free charging at stations in 25 markets around the country, TIME reported. The deal applies to vehicles purchased or leased as of April 1 or later.

Comprising cities from the West Coast to Nashville to Washington, D.C., the 25 markets account for about 80 percent of all Leaf vehicles sold so far. Leaf drivers can take advantage of the free charging program for two years.

The model had its best sales month in December 2013, selling 2,529 for a figure that brought the year's total up to 22,610, twice as many sold the previous year. 

As electric cars become more common, an obstacle has been the lack of access to charging stations. The initiative factors into the green car industry's overall push to make electric charging ubiquitous in all markets.

"Nissan's commitment to mass-market electric cars is matched by our commitment to increase charging infrastructure for LEAF owners," Brendan Jones, director of Nissan's electric vehicle infrastructure and strategy, said in a statement.

TIME noted that the amount a Nissan Leaf driver is saving depends on how often the car is charged at public stations, since Nissan obviously won't be covering a home electric bill when the Leaf is plugged in at the owner's residence.

The program is launching at a time when Tesla is ruling the electric car market and while green car models still account for only around 3 percent of new car sales. 

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