Once you are an owner of an electric car, you will start to notice charging stations that you had not noticed previously. You probably had seen rows of Tesla charging stations believing that you could charge up your Nissan Leaf or other electric vehicles.
Can a Nissan Leaf use a Tesla charging station? It is possible to charge a Nissan Leaf at a tesla charging station by using an adapter. However, you cannot just simply plug into one directly since they are designed to be used only by Tesla owners.
Before you venture out to try out the latest tesla charging station, you need to know more about the charger that comes with Leaf so that you are more aware of the technology.
What Type Of Charger Comes with a Nissan Leaf?
A Nissan Leaf actually comes with 6.6 kW chargers that work with type 2 AC chargers. They also supply an adapter for it that allows you to charge at the rapid 50 kW DC capacity charging stations.
- Type 2
- Adapter for Type 2 to allow for 50 kW faster charging
The type 2 charging cable is an AC adapter that will allow you to plug in your Leaf at home. It is also used for the high and slow AC outlets that are for public use. Nevertheless, if you tend to take short trips that are close to home, you can just leave your Nissan Leaf plugged in at your place overnight in an everyday outlet.
If you would like to use a CHAdeMO station for rapid charging, you will need to purchase the adapter so that you can do so.
CHAdeMO stands for change de move. It is super fast. It reaches as high as 400 kW, which allows charging at a lot faster rate than the fast AC chargers. It will charge a Leaf in less than an hour.
If you decide to use the Tesla Chargers, where should you start to look for the adapter? It is obvious that Tesla does not readily offer these adapters. They need to cater to their Tesla owners.
Where can you find a Converter for Nissan Leaf that works with Tesla Chargers?
At first, I did not even realize that you could buy an adapter that will allow you to charge a Leaf at a station for Tesla. I like the Tesla stations because there always seems to be a lot of chargers at each location for chargers.
I went to a restaurant for truckers in Fredericton, New Brunswick and I noticed a huge line of Tesla chargers. I did not get a chance to try one. I actually thought that they would work with any electric or hybrid model. I was wrong, you need the adapter.
To find the adapter called the Tesla/J1772 adapter, you could start with a simple online search. Make sure that you adjust the date in the google search (click on tools in the menu for searches) so that you will view the most up to date suggestions.
Or you purchase one (click to see pricing) online at Lecton via Amazon. They are white in color and they allow you to connect your Leaf’s J1772 plug component into a Tesla charger. However, these adapters do not work with the Tesla superchargers that many of us would love to try out.
They are really easy to use. You simply connect it to your personal J1772 plug. To remove the adapter, there is a red button to press on the Tesla adapter, while at the same time, pressing the black button your J1772 plug.
If you are not able to get the adapter to work with Tesla, the company offers a refund. Nevertheless, you need to talk to a technician beforehand to ensure that there is not a way to have it communicate correctly with the Tesla charging station.
Can You Plug in a Nissan Leaf into a Regular Outlet?
Will you be able to plug your Nissan Leaf into an outlet that is at your place? Yes, that can be done. You actually will have the plug that will allow you to do so. It comes with the car.
The problem with charging at home with the regular outlet is that it is going to take you a long time. It charges up to 4 miles of range per hour. In other words, it could take you two days to fully charge it if is close to being at the zero charge level.
Is it best for you to install a level 2 unit at home so that you can charge your Leaf at home. The level two outlets charge at 220/240 volts. For a Nissan Leaf, it would only take about 8 hours in total for a full charge.
It is best to get a professional electrician to install a 240 volts outlet that will allow level 2 charging. If you were to install one yourself, this is what is involved:
- First of all, it will cost about $1000 for you to install it yourself, and an electrician would probably charge you another $500.
- I will explain how to install the Leviton Evr-Green home charging station, click here to see pricing on Amazon.
- Find of all, find a place in your garage where you can install the unit so that the connector will be able to reach your car. The charger does come with an 18-foot cord.
- Locate the center of a stud in a wall in the area where you wish to install the charger
- Measure 48 up from the floor and mark it.
- Add the Leviton template to the wall, aligning it with the mark that you had just made.
- Use a level to ensure that the template is straight.
- Tape the template to the wall once leveled.
- Drill the two mounting screws for the bracket (on the template) at a depth of 1.5 inches.
- With a drill, mark the four corners of the box.
- Cut out the box shape.
- Run the circuit from the fuse box (240 volts circuit) (best to have an electrician connect the wiring to the circuit) to your newly installed outlet.
- Mount the box for the outlet.
- Wire in the back wire terminal within the box.
- Make sure to tape the exposed terminal screws before mounting.
- Using a multimeter to test the receptacle to ensure that it is around 240 volts.
- Put on the cover and the bracket.
- Now add the charger to the wall, aligning via the template.
- Plugin the charger.
Here is a video that shows the above steps (again click here to see the current pricing on Amazon)
Should you be Charging Your Leaf Every Day?
You can charge your leaf on a daily basis. Nevertheless, fully charging it is not a good plan. It has a guarantee of 8 years or up to 100,000 miles and it will degrade slowly over this period if it is fully charged often.
You need to make sure that you are not overcharging it because it will be will shorten battery life. It is best to charge it only up 85 percent and never to allow it to be depleted under 25 percent. In other words, a charge level of 25-85 percent is the perfect level.
What happens if you charge your Nissan Leaf constantly to 100%?
If you are a new Nissan Leaf owner, you will be tempted to fully charge in order to have the maximum range. Charging to only 80 percent sounds silly, but it does increase battery life.
There are some car manufacturers that will not allow you to charge to 100 percent. They understand that some consumers will be tempted to do so, so they have added in a buffer. You might believe that you are charged 100 percent, whereas it is actually lower.
Can you use refurbished batteries in a Nissan Leaf?
Since Nissan is concerned about the health of the battery, how would they feel about consumers that are using refurbished batteries? If it does not affect your warranty, you may wish to purchase one. The difference in price could be substantial.
Many online forum members state that they are worried about the strength of the batteries. The media has even voiced this concern. For instance, owners in the Southwest United States claim that the batteries do not deal well with the hot temperatures.
Nevertheless, is it OK to use a battery in a Nissan Leaf that has been reconditioned? I feel that it is fine. Nissan was actually selling such batteries to customers in Japan. Although, they have not started the same program in the states.
The fact that they do not offer refurbished batteries does not mean that they would not work properly or for years. One research analyst believes that they are hesitating because they may feel that the sales of brand new vehicles would be negatively impacted.
Nevertheless, selling refurbished batteries in the states would be one way that the owner of Leafs could receive a better resale value. Just knowing the value is not going to erode quickly would cause a spike in sales for the Leafs in the states.
Can Non-Tesla Cars Use the Tesla Superchargers?
Using a supercharger by Tesla would be great. It would really speed up the charging process. A supercharger is set at 480 volts. They can charge a depleted Tesla battery in less than 75 minutes (that time is based on the Model S).
Many people have attempted to charge their non-Tesla vehicles at a supercharger that was designed just for Tesla cars. I read about a guy that pulled up to a supercharger with his Prius and attempted to charge it up.
Of course, he was not successful because of the different type of adapter. A Tesla owner explained that the supercharger was only for Tesla models. Nevertheless, the Prius owner wanted to inspect the adapter to see if this person was just pulling his leg.
What is odd about attempting to charge your Leaf into a supercharger is that the adapter will connect to your Leaf. However, your car will not be charged because the Leaf has an AC adapter, and the supercharger is DC. Also, the connector is set up to work only on Tesla models.
Tesla does not want other adapters to work because they are allowing most Tesla owners (model x) to charge at superchargers for free. It would take a total revamp of their monitoring system for payments if they were to allow any car company to plug into this network.
I guess that the fact that Leafs come with a CHAdeMO DC adapter, some owners are assuming that a Tesla supercharger charge at DC is possible. The CHAdeMO adapter allows the Leaf to charge at DC which charges at a much higher rate than an AC charging station.
Could it Become Law that Tesla Allow Other Electric Cars Use Their Network for Charging?
It is a strong possibility that this will happen. It has already happened in the UK. On July 19, 2018, a new law kicked in that stated that networks allow other cars to use their chargers. They were required to set-up a payment method.
For instance, a company like Tesla was ordered to implement a payment method even though initially they did not have one since they were allowing certain Tesla models to charge for free.
I feel that the States will do so because it will increase the number of electric cars since charging will be less of a problem. The demand for electric cars such as the Leaf will increase since the networks will be open to all to use (which would include the Tesla networks).
Can You Install a DC Charger at Home for Your Leaf?
Having a level 3 charger at home would be heavenly. You could charge your Leaf in less than an hour. Is it available for home installation? Not presently. It is mostly for industrial or commercial locations, not for home use.
Nevertheless, what would be the cost of installation for a Level 3 Charger if money was not an object?
- The total cost would be more than $50,000
- Here is the breakdown. First of all, you would need an electrician to install a 480v transformer. The labor involved for the transformer would be around 40 hours. So, perhaps you would be paying close to $4000 for the labor and another $10,000-$25,000 for the transformer.
- You would probably need to have a new breaker installed, the electrician cost could run you another $600. This cost is augmented due to the conduit and wiring. Conduit wiring is wire or cables that are routed inside of piping. It protects the wiring from damage by rodents and short circuits.
- Paying for a special permit will probably be necessary. I would allot around $200 for such a permit.
- The other major cost will just be miscellaneous labor to create signage, trenching and boring to bury the conduit wiring. This is where you are going to pay out a lot of cash, as much as $25,000. It all depends on the soil and whether or not the electricians will need to deal with rocky earth.
In other words, the cost will outperform the benefits of installing level 3. If you are doing so as a business, that is a different story since many electric car owners, such as Nissan Leaf clients will flock to your stations for a fast charge.
What to Be Aware of if You Are Charging at a Tesla Station with an Adapter for Your Leaf
You need to be aware of possible roadblocks that you can encounter if you were to use a public Level 2 station at a Tesla Station Location.
I checked the 2019 owner’s manual for the Nissan Leaf. I studied the section on charging so that I could become aware of the possible problems that I might encounter:
- First of all, you will need to be patient when using an adapter for Tesla stations. It could take as long as 30 seconds for the communication to start to happen. I found out about this delay by reading several forum comments recently. Some people are not aware of the delay, and they disconnect after a few seconds believing the charge is not going to happen.
- Nissan states that they do not guarantee that a public station such as Tesla is going to work for your Leaf. This makes sense because of the software and hardware differences between charging stations (even the charging stations that are supposed to work for any electric car).
- They also indicate that if your Leaf has been parked in a cold location for some time that the quick charge may not be so quick. Again, this would apply for when you are using a Tesla station.
- Besides taking longer to charge in a cold environment, it also could take a longer period of time to charge at a Tesla station if the temperature is too high. The charging could suddenly stop during hot weather if the Leaf on-board computer feels that you are putting the battery in danger. It is best to look at the Li-ion battery temperature gauge so that you will get an idea of the length of time to charge.
- Sometimes it will take longer at a Tesla station if your present charge is low. Your Leaf will need to use some power in the battery to run the traction motor so it will cause your charging time to take longer if you have a low charge in the beginning.
Should Tesla owners be allowed to charge at non-tesla charging stations?
I know that there are people out there that do not like to see a Tesla charging at non-Tesla stations. For instance, a Tesla owner using:
- Electrify America
They feel that Tesla owners should be not be allowed to use the other chargers since Tesla offers superchargers to Tesla owners that others cannot use.
Personally, it does not bother me. These Tesla car owners are still paying for the electrons. Why not allow them to do so. Perhaps there is not a free supercharger handy and they need a quick charge in order to pick up their kids from daycare.
We all have been in situations that warranted charging quickly, especially with a fully electric car. A hybrid is fine since it can run on gas also and this sense of charging urgency is not likely to happen.
However, others feel that if you see an EV (including a Tesla Model) charging and it is apparent that the charge is complete, that is another situation.
I have heard of people unplugging cars to take over the charging port for their cars. That is a little extreme, but I guess that when you add in the fact that this fully charged vehicle is a Tesla and that station is non-Tesla, the temptation will be there.