Nissan Motor Co. is planning to offer new customers in Texas with free rapid charges for its Leaf electric vehicle starting October 1, 2013. Customers who buy or lease a new Leaf in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston will be entitled to an all-year unlimited free access to public chargers operated in the locations by NRG Energy Inc.’s eVgo unit.
Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman disclosed that the companies may expand the free service to other markets, depending on customer response. Brockman told Bloomberg through phone that the setup – derived from a strategy pioneered by Tesla Motors – is a pilot program and the carmaker “wants to see how it goes.”
He added that NRG has eVgo networks in other markets, noting that they have high hopes for the pilot program. Nissan, together with alliance partner Renault, is now considered as the largest global seller of pure electric vehicles.
Nissan was able to triple its EV sales in the United States in the first eight months of 2013 to a record 14,123 units, after reducing its prices and offering low-cost lease deals. Tesla, on the other hand, is expanding its network of supercharger stations.
Customers who buy 85 kWh-battery versions of the Tesla Model S, or an optional upgrade to the base model, are eligible for free charges at the charging stations for life.