Free home charging stations available in select markets

by Ernie Hernandez on February 15, 2012

ChargePoint EVSE

ChargePoint America offers free equipment

ChargePoint America, an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure development program, is offering free 240-volt Level 2 charging equipment for individuals living in any of their service areas. Those areas include Austin, Boston, Bellevue, WA, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Southern Michigan, and Washington, DC.

In exchange for the free equipment, the beneficiary agrees to provide data back to the program to be evaluated. This program is made available due to a grant from the Department of Energy and information gathered will be used to further the development of future infrastructure. Equipment will be made available at no charge, but installation costs will be borne by the individual receiving the equipment. The equipment will belong to the individual at the end of the program.

Vehicles must be approved for the program (currently the list includes the BMW ActiveE, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Focus Electric, Ford Transit Connect, Nissan LEAF and smart fortwo electric drive). Not all vehicles will be available for the program in each region. The program site says that quantities are limited, but does not say how many units will be available.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Sanford March 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Is there a program like this for people living in Maine? We hope to buy a Leaf by mid april.

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) March 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Robin – Welcome to Living LEAF. The two largest programs that I am aware of offering free charging equipment are the EV Project and Chargepoint America. Currently neither offers free charging equipment in Maine. Check with your local utility company and see if they offer any incentive for electric vehicle (EV) owners. Many offer EV rates that can lower the cost of charging your car at home. You might also check with your employer to see if they have plans to install EV charging equipment for their employees. One other option – evseupgrade.com can convert the Nissan supplied 120-volt EVSE to use either a 120-volt or 240-volt supply. This conversion runs around $300. This conversion will not void the vehicle warranty. The advantage is that it is portable and you just need to install the proper 240-volt outlet in your garage. I have not had my unit converted yet as I have a 240-volt system in my garage, but I am considering it. When traveling it could come in handy to have your own 240-volt capable equipment. Good luck with your new LEAF!

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RJ Morin March 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I would like to know how I an obtain a free charging station for a Nissan Leaf. I’m seriously considering purchasing one. Thank you,
RJ Morin

Zip Code: 97302

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) March 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm

RJ – Welcome to Living LEAF. As you can see, this article was published in February of 2012. The EV Project continued offering free charging stations into this year. Checking their website (found here), they have met their goal for installed residential charge stations. ChargePoint America has also reached their goal. That said, depending on your daily driving needs, you may be able to charge solely using the supplied 120-volt charging unit supplied when you acquire your LEAF. Charging overnight at home will provide you with roughly 50 miles of range each day (or more depending on length of charge). If your employer allows charging while at work (using a standard 120-volt wall outlet), you may find that you don’t need a 240-volt unit. As I mentioned in the answer to the previous commenter, you might also be able to upgrade your 120-volt Nissan unit to 240-volt capability. Then you have a portable charger that will work on 120-volt or 240-volt outlets. You will need only install a 240-volt outlet in your garage. Good luck with your decision.

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