How Much Does It Cost To Charge A Nissan LEAF?

Electric vehicles are gradually becoming the norm when it comes to what type of vehicles you can find out on the roads, but there is still a lot of concern around charging up the batteries. 

Because electric cars like the Nissan LEAF do not require gasoline, there are a lot more options with electric cars when it comes to finding your power source. But where can you charge up your Nissan LEAF – and how much will each method cost you? 

How Much Does It Cost To Charge A Nissan Leaf

Here we are going to look at how much it costs to charge up a Nissan LEAF. We are going to take a look at each charging method individually and see which one is the affordable option. So, if you are concerned about spending too much on charging your Nissan LEAF, take a look here for some handy advice that could potentially save you a lot of money.

How Can I Charge A Nissan LEAF? 

Like we said earlier, there are a lot of different methods when it comes to charging up your Nissan LEAF. There are in fact three main charging options that involve three different chargers – so, they all will also cost you different amounts. 

What is Level 1 EV Charging? 

Level 1 is the slowest way to charge an electric vehicle. It uses a standard 120 volt outlet, which can be found in homes as standard. 

The Nissan LEAF comes with a portable charger that you can just plug into your home to connect your Nissan LEAF to your household’s AC electricity. Over time, your Nissan LEAF will charge up – but this method can take days before you get a fully charged battery. 

What is Level 2 EV Charging? 

Level 2 uses a more powerful charger that can handle 220-240 volt. This kind of charger can be found at public charging stations, but it can also be installed in your own home for an additional charge. 

This means you have the ability to use Level 2 charging at home and when traveling – if you can find a charging port with this option. It is a much faster charging method than Level 1 because it uses more power, cutting the charge time down from days to hours.  

What are Fast Chargers?

Fast chargers are public charging stations that use Level 3 EV charging – the fastest method of charging your Nissan LEAF’s battery. Because Nissan LEAF uses CHAdeMO technology, you can rapidly charge your Nissan LEAF at these Fast Charger stations. 

Fast charging is able to charge a Nissan LEAF battery in mere minutes, taking on average around a single hour to fully charge the battery. However, other features like your battery’s capacity and temperature can affect this charge time. 

How Much Does It Cost To Charge A Nissan LEAF At Home?

Charging your Nissan LEAF at home has many benefits. It’s convenient, hassle-free and a safe way to charge your EV, but exactly how much will it cost you to charge your Nissan LEAF from home? Let’s find out! 

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Nissan LEAF Using a Regular Charger? 

The Nissan LEAF  comes with a standard charging cable that can be used for regular outlets found around your home. This means when you use a normal charger to charge up your Nissan LEAF, you will be paying your energy provider to charge your Nissan LEAF. 

The Nissan LEAF comes with two main types of batteries – the 40 kWh battery and the 62 kWh battery. The 62 kWh battery will take longer to charge and this will cost you more in the long run but it also means you can travel further on a single charge. A 40 kWH battery will take 20 hours to charge using Level 1 charging method, and the 62 kWh battery will take two and a half days. 

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Nissan LEAF with a Normal Charger?

Using a bit of math and average estimates, we can roughly work out the cost of charging a Nissan LEAF. 

The average cost of electricity in the United States is around $0.1285 per kWh. This means to fully charge a 40 kWh Nissan LEAF battery, the cost will be on average $5.14. Of course this number is sure to vary depending on how much you pay for your energy per kWh and on the battery’s capacity, as capacity will degrade over time. 

For a 62 kWh battery, the cost will be on average $7.97. 

Do I Really Need a Level 2 Charger?

While the cost of charging a Nissan LEAF battery using the Level 1 charging method is super low (especially when compared to gas prices), it does have a lot of downsides. The main one is how long it takes to fully charge a Nissan LEAF battery. Most people want to use their EVs for daily journeys like work commutes, and waiting two days for the battery to charge will not work out. 

So, a lot of Nissan LEAF drivers install a Level 2 charger in their home. This does cut down the charge time so you can charge your Nissan LEAF overnight and it will be fully charged ready for the next day, but it does cost to install the charger. 

A Level 2 charger costs on average $1,690 to buy and install, but the pros often outweigh the cons here. Although it costs an additional amount, it does save you a lot of time. The cost to charge your Nissan LEAF will be the same, but it will take a lot less time. This makes charging your Nissan LEAF at home more convenient for you – hence why a lot of Nissan LEAF drivers opt for this option. 

How Much Does It Cost To Charge A Nissan LEAF At A Station?

Public charging stations can be found all around the States but while they are convenient, this does mean that each one is sure to charge you a different amount to charge your Nissan Leaf. Let’s take a look at public charging station prices and see if they are the better option for you.

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a LEAF at a Charging Station? 

This is where things get tricky because each charging station will have its own methods of charging you money while you charge your Nissan LEAF.

Some charging stations charge you per kWh you use, some charge you by actual time and some may not even charge you at all (we will get onto that later). So, to give you an actual estimate on how much charging your Nissan LEAF at a charging station will cost you – it’s pretty impossible but we can try. 

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Nissan LEAF with a Level 2 Charger?

Because using a Level 2 charger takes a lot longer than using a Fast Charger, a lot of public charging stations will charge you by time instead of by energy. This means that they will charge you a certain amount of money per hour your car is there charging. 

The amount charged per hour can vary between $3 to $5 per hour. So, if you want to full charge your 62 kWh battery using a Level 2 charger at a public charging station, this could cost you $34.50 to $57.5. 

However, some charging stations will have lower costs for the first few hours. For example, they may charge you $1 for the first two hours, then jump it to $3 for every hour after that. So, if a pick-me-up is all you need to get home, you can get away with just paying $2 – it all depends on the station and how long you stay there.  

How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Nissan LEAF at a Fast Charger?

Fast Chargers are more likely to charge you a certain amount for the energy you use and most of the time, it’s a lot more than what your energy provider charges you. This is because Fast Charging can take under an hour so Fast Chargers make more money charging you for the energy you use instead of the time you spend there. 

Fast Chargers can charge between $0.15 to $0.50 per kWh which means that charging your Nissan LEAF at two different Fast Chargers can cost you a huge difference too. For example, a Nissan LEAF with a 62 kWh battery charging at a Fast Charger that charges $0.50 per kWh will probably end up paying just over $30. However, if they found a different Fast Charger that charged $0.15 per kWh, they would spend just under $10. 

So, check around at your local Fast Chargers and charging stations so you know where the most affordable places are for you to charge while on the go. 

Where Can I Charge My Nissan LEAF?

Remember when we said some places will charge you nothing to charge up your EV? Well, let’s take a look at all the places you can charge up an EV, including your Nissan LEAF, so you can get a great bargain. 

Where Can I Charge My Nissan LEAF for Free? 

The EV charging station firm EVgo has partnered with Nissan so that new Nissan LEAF owners get $250 of free charging. Although this only applies to stations that are owned by EVgo and only to those who bought their Nissan LEAF after November 2019, it is still a huge amount of money to save on.

For those who bought their Nissan LEAF before the start date, don’t worry – some universities or public areas may have installed a Level 2 charger where you can charge up for free. These public areas can include libraries, zoos, and schools – but it’s best to check first before you plug in your Nissan. They may also have hidden strings, like needing a parking permit or club membership, but if you are there anyway then you might as well take advantage of that. 

Can I Charge My Nissan LEAF at a Tesla Station?

Tesla are another huge brand of EVs and they even have their own Tesla fast-charging stations called Superchargers – but you too can use that station. Tesla stations also provide chargers for other kinds of EVs including the Nissan LEAF.

This means that you can charge your Nissan LEAF at a Tesla station but you will be charged. 

Can I Charge my Nissan LEAF at a Nissan Dealership?

Although there are obviously charging stations at a Nissan dealership, that does not mean you are entitled to use it. 

It is down to the owners if they allow any Nissan LEAF drivers to use their charging ports, so if there is one near you, you can call and ask the dealership if they allow Nissan LEAFs to use their charging ports. Some say yes, some say only to their direct customers, and some say no. 

If the dealership does allow you to charge up your Nissan LEAF, remember to thank them for their hospitality.

Conclusion

Overall, a Nissan LEAF will cost you less in fuel costs than a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle would. In fact, the average annual fuel cost for the Nissan LEAF is said to be around $600 – which is seriously low for a car. So, no matter where or how you charge your Nissan LEAF, you will always be saving a lot of dollars just by switching to an electric car. 

However, the most affordable method would be to charge your Nissan LEAF at home and although installing a Level 2 charger does cost quite a bit, it will save you a lot of time in the long run. 

Public charging stations and Fast Chargers are great if you need to top up your battery while you are out on a journey, but it’s always best to top your Nissan LEAF’s battery up at home because your energy provider will charge you less than a public charging station. However, those who have bought a Nissan LEAF after November 2019 are entitled to $250 of charge time for free – plus, certain public stations may even be kind enough to offer a free charge. 

But our recommended charging method is to install a Level 2 charger at your home and charge your Nissan LEAF there. It’s the most affordable option that is also super convenient, making that installation worthwhile. 

Tom Davids
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