Let's repeat the Leaf purchasing process, as outlined by Nissan, one more time. The four simple steps to secure your place as one of the thousands who will own Nissan's zero-emissions vehicle next year are as follows: reserve, home assessment, charger installation and ordering. The process, as we've reported before, has chugged along with nary a hitch - or has it?

According to a group of interested fanatical future Leaf owners who post on the My Nissan Leaf forum, a potential problem with the Leaf's purchasing process has been brewing for some time now. It's an issue that we've touched on before, but perhaps a refresher course is in order. Nissan, along with partner AeroVironment, has conducted the home assessment portion of the ordering process. This assessment is followed by charger installation and, as we've pointed out before, most of the quotes are in line with initial expectations.

Nissan previously disclosed that its charger, installed by AV-trained electricians, would cost home owners an average of $2,200. Okay, fine. But the My Nissan Leaf forum posters have noted that installation costs are astronomical, over half the price of the charger itself. The high quotes have driven many future Leaf owners to look for alternative chargers, or in some cases, contact Nissan and AeroVironment to voice a complaint. Some complaints have already been addressed and AeroVironment responded by dropping the install price, but this appears to be the exception and not the rule. If it seems as though some of the My Nissan Leaf forum users are whining over nothing, then consider this lightly edited post we found over in the forum:
I just got my quote from AV for a garage-installed wall-mounted charger. I was informed that AV charges a fixed price for easy installs. I already had a 50-amp 220-volt plug installed when the house was built. So, AV is charging me $1,199.90 to install two bolts and to plug in the unit.
In this instance, an install price of $1,199.90 seems downright ludicrous, but there are ways to work around the high fees. Many forum members have been in contact with Leviton, General Electric and Coulomb to source a charger while some have decided to resort to using a 110-volt Level 1 system. Though not a long-term solution, the Level 1 charger will tide Leaf owners over until either AeroVironment reduces its install fees or a better option arrives. Whether you call it a hitch, or a snag in the process, it's readily apparent that Nissan and AeroVironment have truly upset some potential owners with a problem that could have – and should have – been avoided. Hat tip to EVNow!

[Source: My Nissan Leaf]