I'll be brief because this can get technical very quickly.
Working with our utility, SCE, I've determined that our best choice is to have a second electrical meter installed for charging our LEAF on a Time of Use plan. This will have the advantage of low rates for night time charging ($0.11 per kWh), without running into higher tier rates if we need to charge the LEAF battery a lot. This works well with a Time Of Use tiered rate plan for our household power use and our solar PV system's power production during Peak hours.
Right now, I'm trying to figure out how that second meter is going to be installed. The problem is physical space on the outside wall of the house. We need to mount a new meter panel and there isn't enough wall space to place it on. I'm working with SCE to see if a more compact solution will work. I hope to use a small separate meter socket along with a small panel for the circuit breakers that will fit in the space available. I'm waiting to see if that will be approved by SCE and the City.
Once we've settled the point of the electrical meter and panel, we'll be able to make a decision about whether to go with a modified quote from Nissan's EVSE partner, Aerovironment, or to use an independent electrician and choose the EVSE equipment from one of several makers.
If we can't get this decided, approved and installed by the time the LEAF is delivered, we'll use 110 volt "trickle charging", though Carol strongly prefers having a full EVSE solution in place from the day we bring the LEAF home.
What Else is Happening in the LEAF world?
- The Nissan Drive Electric Tour is moving through California and then on to the other "Early Roll Out States" of Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Tennessee, allowing those holding reservations to test drive the LEAF for the first time.
- Journalists are getting to visit Nissan's US headquarters in Tennessee for longer test drives and to learn more about the LEAF.
- In late September, Nissan suspended new orders for the LEAF on its web site. This is to allow production to catch up to the demand of the 20,000 early reservations. So for the time being, it is not possible to reserve a new LEAF. Hopeful buyers might be able to buy a LEAF from dealers who may have some available when buyers who have ordered change their minds before delivery.
- The LEAF production line has begin operation in Japan.
- There is much excitement and anticipation to see when the first LEAF deliveries will happen here in the US. Most people think that up to 200 cars will be delivered in December, distributed through the five early roll out states.
- In California, those who have ordered their LEAFs are anxious to make sure that they get the $5,000 rebate available for EVs through the California Center for Sustainable Energy. Rebate funds can only be reserved on the CCSE web site on the day the EV is delivered. At this time, there is about $8.2 million available for these rebates, enough for rebates for about 1,600 LEAFs. Other EVs are eligible, so time is of the essence.
Updates on my next blog post