Nissan Leaf electric-car charger installation cost proves shocking

Discussion in 'Nissan' started by atlaw4u, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] An at-home charger is reported to cost between $700 & $1200.

    [FIMG=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/leaf_charge.jpg[/FIMG]Eric Evarts - CONSUMERREPORTS - September 03, 2010

    Are you ready to plug in? --Ed.

    the Nissan Leaf moves closer to production late this year, consumers who have put down $99 deposits on the all-electric car are learning more about the financial impact of driving on the leading edge. And the costs are shocking, potentially tallying thousands of dollars.

    Electric-car buyers need to factor not just the purchase price (or lease payments) and energy consumption, but the cost for an at-home charger and its installation.

    The charger runs from about $700 to $1,200. Being much more than a power cord, the charger takes the alternating current from your house or elsewhere on the grid and converts it to DC for charging the batteries. It also protects the batteries from overheating, overcharging, or charging too fast. Some chargers may also allow you to monitor or control charging wirelessly or over the Internet. Should power be interrupted, it will also safely restart charging so you don't find your car's battery still dead in the morning... [RM]http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2010/09/nissan-leaf-electric-car-charger-installation-cost-proves-shocking.html[/RM]
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Since the LEAF can be charged off a 120 V circuit and Nissan is stating from dead empty to plumb full will take 20-hours, is the $2,000 or so expense of a level 2 fast charger worth it? Even a dedicated 220V circuit will take 8-hours from dead to full? I have to go back to my original thoughts on all of this… The car is going to be sitting in your driveway/garage for at least 12-hours per day. You will “probably” never drive the SoC down to 0 as it is just too hard on ones psyche to contemplate a dead BEV on the side of the road so plugging in will be a mandatory solution for home only charging each and every day. This is going to be the same on a 120V as it will be on a 220V circuit.

    It will soon come down to $'s and ¢and $2,000 buys the average Prius driver ~ 3-years and over 40,000 miles of range without considering the cost of the electricity the BEV owner has paid for.

    I think many might just go with the std. 120V solution and hope to top off charge at work or somewhere else where electricity may be free vs. the $5.00 per hookup crazy talk that Chargepoint’s business is built around.

    Wayne
     
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    I see the Level 2 charger as important for a few reasons:
    - Off-peak electricity: with a faster charger you can confidently schedule charging off-peak. It's cheaper in many places and it's better for the current and future grid.
    - Maximizing miles: with fast-charging ability you have more potential miles per day. Particularly at weekends it could turn a 1-trip day into a 2-trip day.

    While $2k is a lot of gas, I would look at as spread over the life of the garage rather than the car. Hopefully, over time there will be less issue as people anticipate the need by wiring garages with a circuit for each car space and front 120V outlets for visitors.
     
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    "Being much more than a power cord, the charger takes the alternating current from your house or elsewhere on the grid and converts it to DC for charging the batteries. It also protects the batteries from overheating, overcharging, or charging too fast."

    The original article is nonsense and full of untruths, the so called $2000 "charger" is really only a glorified power cord with a fancy plug and some circuitry.. the same exact plug and circuitry thats in the free "charger" they give you to plug into 120VAC.

    The AC-DC conversion and charge monitoring is done internal to the car. Expect to see these "chargers" to pop up on Ebay and Harbor Freight for a lot less.
     
  5. If one didn't have the extra money for the fast charger at time of purchase, the Leaf still can be recharged off of a regular household line -- just not as fast. One could always buy the fast charger later.
     
  6. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, but i do not understand why the charger does not come with the car? :confused::confused:
     
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Blackbelt:

    It does but the 220V outlet from your home does not ;)

    I suspect the 220V smart plug could be attached to any 220V line and the LEAF would accept it? Since it can be charged from a regular 120V with included cord/plug, why not a 220 with the bigger and heavier shielded cord and plug that is plugged into a 220V circuit like a dryer plug with the twist?

    Just guessing about the 220V input but the LEAF does have a 120V charger incorporated into the vehicle.

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  8. RobertSmalls

    RobertSmalls Ecodriver

    I don't know, Herm, I'm pretty sure the charging station is a very large AC->DC power supply, which is why a "Stage 3" charger costs $17K, while a "Stage 2" charger goes for a couple grand.

    Considering the price of off-the-shelf 220VAC-> DC power supplies, I'd say the charger actually costs a reasonable percentage of $2000 to build, which is why it sells for that much, and why it's not included with the car. That, and a fast charger is a little bulky and has cooling requirements, so why package it inside the car?

    If I had a Leaf, I'd charge with the 110V charger for a few months and see if third-party charging stations come down in price.
     
  9. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    There is no AC-to-DC charger for the LEAF that you can buy now, Nissan has one but in Japan.. it uses the 400VDC 124A Chademo plug.,, its the one that does the 30 minute partial charges.

    The Stage 2 "charger" they talk about in the article is just a fancy power cord.
     
  10. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Wayne,
    Not sure about that. The article says;
    "The charger runs from about $700 to $1,200"
    I am not sure why the range of prices, unless they are counting the price of the charger AND the price to run a 240V line to where the car will be. Running a 240 line is not really all that difficult, depending on the location of the panel. It also depends on the current rating of the charger. But i would hope that the 240V charger would come with the car, otherwise, to me, it would be almost like selling a car without a gas tank.
     
  11. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    That includes running a dedicated 220VAC from the "charger" to your breaker panel, lots of people are beginning to suspect its a ripoff.
     

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