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Nissan's free-juice program expands to three new markets

New Leaf buyers in New York, Philadelphia and Santa Barbara will get two years' worth of free public charging.

Nissan Leaf Charger

If you're smart with your charging strategy, you could very well drive your Leaf without any home charging for the first two years.

James Martin/CNET

It doesn't matter what kind of car you drive, only a fool would turn down some free fuel. Nissan's No Charge to Charge program provides exactly that -- for the first two years after vehicle purchase, you can fuel up at certain public chargers, absolutely free. This program isn't in every market, but it's just expanded to include New York, Philadelphia and Santa Barbara.

Once you purchase and take possession of a new Nissan Leaf electric sedan, you'll get a special EZ-Charge card, which will let you receive free juice from different charging-station brands, including NRG eVgo, AeroVironment and Blink Network. EZ-Charge's website has a list of the locations that support No Charge to Charge, which you can access from either an app or your smartphone's browser.

This special card entitles the owner to either 30 minutes on a DC fast charger or one hour on a Level 2 charger. Either way, that's enough time to bump your battery's charge from zero to 80 percent, more than enough to get you back to from whence you came.

Even though the name sounds like it might also provide free home charging, it doesn't. Owners will still have to pay their utility bills, which will include the cost of any home charging. It also won't make home-charger installation any cheaper. That said, two years of knowing that you can get free charges on the road is a pretty sweet deal -- especially when you're not paying a dime for it.