If you take a look at the Nissan Leaf reservation steps, outlined in the image above, you will immediately notice that installing a charger precedes ordering your Leaf. In fact, getting a charger is a pre-requisite for ownership. Nissan isn't the only automaker that plans to do this, but it does raise some cause for concern, especially when the possibility of price gouging exists. Here's what we mean.

There are four steps each Leaf buyer needs to take to get their new electric vehicle (EV). First, you reserve a Leaf for $99. Some time later, your home is assessed and, if approved, you commit to the installation of the charging equipment for around $2,000 (there are federal tax credits available that can cut that price in half). Once you've gotten this far, the next step is to head to the Nissan dealership to agree upon a price and place your order. We see two problems that could arise from this four-step process: First, you may not be satisfied with the negotiated price of the Leaf and decide to walk away from the deal, leaving you with a useless EV charger that maybe set you back thousands of dollars. Second, the negotiations at the dealership might not go as expected but you're sort of tied to buying the Leaf because you already dished out lots of dough for that charger hanging in your garage.

We don't think Nissan really intends for it to work out this way, but the installation of the charger should be tied to the purchase of the vehicle. That's probably Nissan's actual intention, but the lack of specific info is creating a stir that the company needs to quell before potential buyers are dissuaded from buying the Leaf. If Nissan actually expects potential buyers to purchase and install the charger without a set price and guaranteed order for the Leaf, then it could be setting itself up for some real unhappy customers. This is all uncharted territory, but we're pretty confident that Nissan can work it all out in time for the launch.

[Source: Nissan, LeafDrivers]

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