For the average car shopping consumer (such as me), one of the real deal breakers with plug-in electric vehicles has been the cost of the home charger. Sure, they're getting cheaper at Home Depot, but when you're talking about buying the charger and having it installed in your garage, it's around $1,500 to $2,000 extra. What if you could have that cost added to your finance package and monthly payments at the dealership?

That's what AeroVironment just announced at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention and expo in Orlando. The electric vehicle charging station maker is now offering a dealer program where new car buyers can purchase an EVSE-RS, Level 2, 240-volt residential charging station with their battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, and then finance them together.

AeroVironment is working with Nissan and its dealers on a finance program for the Leaf, and is in talks with other automaker partners, including BMW for the ActiveE and Mitsubishi and the i-MiEV, Tom Carney, director of automotive sales for AeroVironment, told AutoblogGreen.

Dealer finance and insurance departments will be able to offer buyers a variety of lease and loan packages – from three-year to six-year payment periods, Carney said. They're guaranteeing that the charger will installed at the home within four days of purchase, with an expected average of 2.8 days. AeroVironment has already installed over 10,000 residential charging units.

Dealers can also offer various "bumper-to-bumper" warranty options for the chargers that match the financing terms of the vehicle. Chargers bought through the dealer program will be installed by licensed electricians in all 50 states that are certified in EV charger installation. AeroVironment is offering dealers one-on-one and online training as well as access to AeroVironment's home charging displays, window stickers and consumer brochures. Dealers can also set up both Level 2 and DC fast charging stations in their service bays and customer parking areas.
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New AeroVironment Electric Vehicle Dealer Program Makes it Easy to Bundle Home Charger, Installation, and Warranty with Car Purchase
  • Now consumers can seamlessly finance home charger and installation with electric vehicle (EV) purchases in a single transaction
  • Finance and Insurance (F&I)-friendly packages present opportunities for dealers to improve their EV Customer Satisfaction index
  • AeroVironment's home charger reduces charging time by more than half to 120 Volt Level 1 plug-in that comes standard with most EVs
MONROVIA, Calif., Feb. 7, 2013 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) today launched a dealer program that provides turnkey residential charging packages to consumers purchasing new electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and allows them to finance the charger in combination with the vehicle at the time of sale. The program, which is the first of its kind, makes dealerships one-stop-shops for EV drivers and expands dealers' F&I product offerings.

AeroVironment is exhibiting the program at the National Automotive Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Orlando, Florida (Booth #3953) this week.

EVs and PHEVs typically come equipped with a Level 1 120 Volt charger. Through AeroVironment's dealer program, new owners can now purchase an EVSE-RS Level 2 240 Volt residential charging station that reduces charge time by more than half, from up to 22 hours to between 3 and 8 hours.

"AeroVironment has decades of experience providing complete charging solutions that support the practical transition to electric vehicles," said Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Efficient Energy Systems business segment. "With our new dealer program, AeroVironment is putting the second half of the EV equation – the home charger – at the vehicle's point of sale. This makes it easier for drivers to purchase, and for dealers to participate more actively in the evolution toward clean, electric transportation."

Dealers can offer various warranty options that match the financing terms of the vehicle. Chargers bought through the dealer program are installed by a licensed electrician certified in EV charging installation. If needed, AeroVironment also provides at-home, in-person support.

To ensure dealers and consumers realize the maximum value from the new program, AeroVironment provides dealers with one-on-one and online training to familiarize them with it. AeroVironment provides dealers with point-of-purchase marketing support including home charging displays, window stickers and consumer brochures. The company also offers both Level 2 and DC "fast" charging stations for use in dealer service bays and customer parking areas.

"AeroVironment offers state-of-the-art products and our customers have been extremely satisfied with the service," said James Azzaro, commercial vehicle sales manager at John Howard Motors in Morgantown, WV. "The AeroVironment dealer program provides a complete, seamless experience for our customers. Not only does it make us a one-stop-shop, but it also guarantees support for our customers from a company that cares."

Dealers attending the NADA conference in Orlando, Fla. can learn more by visiting AeroVironment at booth #3953 or by attending its cocktail reception February 9, 2013, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Peabody Hotel. To sign up for the dealer program, contact AeroVironment at 888-499-8759 or email dealers@avinc.com.

AeroVironment is the preferred home charging supplier of the Nissan LEAF®, BMW ActiveE, and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The company's broad line of home charging systems includes the standard Level 2 home charging system and a do-it-yourself wall-mounted "plug-in" unit that is available for dealer stock. More information on AeroVironment's EV charging solutions can be found at www.evsolutions.com.

About AeroVironment, Inc.

AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, operates and supports an advanced portfolio of electric transportation solutions and electric-powered Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). AeroVironment's comprehensive EV charging solutions include EV home charging, public charging, fast charging, data collection, grid-integrated communications and complete installation, training and support services for consumers, automakers, utilities, government agencies and businesses. AeroVironment's industrial electric vehicle charging systems support thousands of electric materials handling vehicles in mission-critical supply chains for Fortune 500 enterprises. AeroVironment's power cycling and test systems provide EV developers and EV battery manufacturers with market-leading simulation and cycling capabilities. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company's electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and communication. More information is available at www.avinc.com and www.evsolutions.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      That will help some people. But: 1) A Volt or Mitsubishi-i doesn't really need a 240V EVSE since the 16KWH battery can be charged overnight with 120V 2) The EVSE hardware should be much cheaper. They are basically plastic boxes, wires, a connector, a few electrical parts, and maybe 1 or two simple chips. 3) Many 'portable' EVSEs can handle 240V and if you get one of those then you can just pay some local electrician a hundred bucks or so to install a 240V outlet in your garage (providing the main panel is not too far away.)
        noevfud
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Actually the inside of an EVSE is more complicated than you think. There are more than 200 electrical component in most. Inaddition you are wrong about a Volt not needing L2 at home as many people need to charge in the super off peak time frames which can be very short.
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          My Legrand is 90%+ empty inside. I firmly believe they made it as big as it is so that people felt like parting with their money was justified. It could easily be the size of an included L1 charger, if not smaller.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @noevfud
          200? I think not. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9IZ8_oDt03Q/UAA0E5abgpI/AAAAAAAAFyU/U7VmQrUWHoo/s640/Unmodififed+120V+EVSE+2.jpg http://electriceptor.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/2010_12_01-10_03_55-002-evse-install-1600.jpg?w=510 Re: Volt L2 Is the amount of money they save with off-peak rates more than installation cost of the EVSE? Maybe . . . if so, then do it. And it is nice to have the faster charging. But having L2 is certainly not NECESSARY with a Volt.
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can I finance one of the drones that AV makes for the military into my car payment? They sure have diversified products!
      Bryan Lund
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seems a reasonable way ta go ta get more people friendly with all-electric automobile ownership.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be better if they could find a way to make it a mortgage loan (it is a permanent improvement to the house) so that the interest would be deductible.
        Vlad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        They tried to do it with solar (PACE). FHFA killed it.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Vlad
          Yeah, that is a complete tragedy. They should allow it with solar too.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      AV, make the right EV. That way you don't have to work for the evil military. And when Tesla and Fisker are dead, investors will need a place to put the money. If you do it right. You did ok with the EV1, plenty of opportunity now to do far better still. Might I suggest you start with a cost optimized light weight aerodynamic version of the Tesla Roadster. Keep it simple. 600kg, shorter range, 3.5second acceleration, aerodynamic neck. 25k$
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Funny how many that are so sure that what I say is wrong
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Aptera could be interesting but that's not what I mean when I say aerodynamic. I still mean a conventional body type, just aerodynamic. Think more like EV1. The Aptera sacrifices quite a bit like trunk space but an Aptera done right (they didn't) could have near ridiculous efficiency. It would be a good thing to have on the roads. Shame it was assassinated by stupidity.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          No I think it's just that if you weren't alone in your view Aptera would have never gone out of business. AV could probably revive Aptera if it was still a viable model.
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well that sure is amazing news, bundling a high priced auto accessory into financing to hide the cost, makes dealers more money and sell more units. This is ground breaking! I can't believe dealers don't do this now with other products:) In other news, I sent my Nissan L1 EVSE (included for free with the car) to www.evseupgrade.com and had it upgraded to L1/L2 operation and it charges my LEAF at the same speed as this unit and it's portable. I used a $20 adapter on my old dryer outlet and did not have to upgrade my service panel or even pull a permit. Total cost was Under $300. I was going to get an AV unit but it was more than $1000 plus it would require me to upgrade my service panel.
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @noevfud
        You realize of course, that your "free accessory" is not free, it was bundled into the price of the car. Which is also the very thing you complain about with your first sentence.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stressing over the home EVSE is kind of overblown. There are many Volt owners who just use the included 120V EVSE and have no issues. Plus you can order a SPX Voltec 240V EVSE for only $495 (installed for only $200). Leaf and other BEV owners can easily convert their included 120V EVSE to 240V via a service. http://evseupgrade.com/
        Vlad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        Yes, for people willing to do their homework it is not an issue. Most buyers up to this point probably were like that. But now that plug-ins become more mainstream, solutions that don't involve mental activity may become handy.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        The upgraded evse operates at 3.84kw(which is fine for the volt and 2012 leaf because they charge at 3.3kw, but many newly released EVs can charge at 7kw. I agree that Nissan's included 110v only charges at 1.4kW which is pretty pathetic, I hope that they provided a faster 110v charger for the 2013 model.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          I bet the 2013 leafs new heat pump will make it easier to preheat on L1 without reducing range.
          noevfud
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          They are releasing a higher powered upgrade version for the 2013 leaf. Regardless 3.8kw charging is more than adequate for home charging, you need faster charging when away form home. I have a 6.7kw charger and I charge at 3.8kw at home because that is adequate for a 24kwh pack. When away I use the benefit of faster charger. Far too many people think you need high-speed charging at home but most do not. However, L1 is not the best option at home for a variety of reasons including pre-heating.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        Not all of the small 120V portable chargers can be upgraded to 240V. But if you can do it, it is great. And if you have pure EV and commute a decent distance everyday, the 240V charger is necessary.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Would it kill AOL to provide a link to the company's website? https://www.avinc.com/
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Btw the AeroVironment, 7.2kw portable charger costs $1k from amazon. Other 7.2kw chargers can be had for less. For instance I found this for $700: http://goo.gl/sFELN
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          It's not a charger. it's an extension cord with a relay.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          charge station is an acceptable name. barely. overpriced misleading extension cord is more accurate and deserves frequent mention
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          "it's an extension cord with a relay." EVSEs are not chargers but just calling them an "it's an extension cord with a relay." is pathetic over-simplification.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        You fool! Five people at AOL just died because of you.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          And nothing of value was lost.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Btw I don't really want autoblog employees dead, just fired, it would be nice if the aol ownership went away also. Just today on autobloggreen the chevy diesel was posted twice. And now the kia superman car has 2 posts on the main page. Why is are there 2 posts on autobloggreen about this show car that is not even a hybrid!? I mean WTF PEOPLE!
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