outsmartbullet
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Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Sun May 14, 2017 3:51 pm

Hi Folks,
I've been agonizing over whether to buy a particular Leaf.

I still have the electrician scheduled on Thursday to wire in the 14-50 plug, I still have the JuiceBox Pro 40 which I can return to Amazon for $20. I do recognize that these are major overkill for the 3.3kw charger, but I figured I'd invest and be ready for a faster-charging car for the future.

I live in Phoenix.
I have an assigned space in a garage well out of the sun, for what it's worth.

My round trip commute is 42 miles which on a good day puts me at 75mph but, more than usually, averages half that even in the HOV lane as there are slowdowns at the interchanges and often things just get backed up a bit. On average, the HOV lane on my motorcycle saves me about 20 minutes a day. Very soon it will be too hot for me to ride with proper safety gear.

I currently have a 2011 Sonata GLS with 64K miles that my coworker would happily buy for $7500. It still has 35k / 3 years left on the powertrain

The leaf in question is a 38k 2012 SL (backup cam, heated seats, 12v Solar Panel) with minor scratches, otherwise clean, and I verified received a spankin' new battery in March of this year.

The price is $8000 firm, and I have test driven it. I couldn't get Leafspy to work, but I was able to verify that it was an entirely new battery by calling the Nissan dealer. Just believe me when I tell you the guy won't budge a dollar on the price.

My big decision point is, how many years can I expect to get to work and back without having to charge at work? There are two-hours-free chargers in my work garage, but taking 20 minutes out of my day to unplug the car is a pain in the butt.

I'm really agonizing whether to give up my so-far-reliable car for one that might be unable to make my commute in four years. I've never had any major mechanical trouble with my Sonata.
I do expect it's a Lizard battery because of how recently it was replaced.

I estimate I'll save $800 a year in gas/registration/oil changes but if anything goes majorly wrong on the Leaf I'm totally out of pocket.

What do you think? How many years could I make my 42 mile highway commute without having to charge during the daytime?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 6432
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Sun May 14, 2017 4:36 pm

I'd say several years, although you may not be comfortable doing 75MPH by the end of the third year. You might want to consider rear wheel covers at some point, to reduce drag at higher speeds. This is assuming that the pack doesn't experience the worst of your local climate while charging.
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

outsmartbullet
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 12:59 pm

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Sun May 14, 2017 6:03 pm

Thank you for your thoughts. It'd have rough going during the daily commute in 105-115 degree weather, three days a week, three months a year, but it would at least be able to charge overnight during the 11-5AM 6c/kwh super-off peak hours.

At work it's parked in total shade, and at home it would get shade most hours of the day.

cwerdna
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Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Sun May 14, 2017 6:16 pm

Charging at work, even at 120 volts all day would extend the useful life of the car.

But yeah, my wild guess is that w/o charging at work at all, you could probably do that commute for another 3-5 years, maybe 6. You'll need to slow down as the battery gets worse.

Unfortunately, you can't adjust the pre-condition temp on the '12, AFAIK (I think it got added on the '13). Not sure if setting the precondition timer or pre-heating will result in the cabin being cooled or heated if it's hot in the cabin. If it will cool it, then you might want to precondition while on "shore" power (still connected to a 208/240 volt L2 EVSE) when it's hot out. That way, you use less juice from the battery trying to cool the cabin down.

'13 blue Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 blue Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

GerryAZ
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Sun May 14, 2017 8:03 pm

I made my 52-mile round trip commute with about 21 miles each way on the freeway , mostly in the HOV lane on I-17 with a mile or so on I-10 west of I-17 even when the 2011 was down to 8 capacity bars (with normal A/C use) before Nissan replaced the battery. The "lizard" battery in the 2015 is down to 11 capacity bars in 27 months and 40k miles, but this is much better than the original (8 bars in about 26 months and 30k miles) and replacement (11 bars in about 13 months and 20k miles) batteries in the 2011. Since your commute is 10 miles less than mine (but your average speed may be a bit higher), I am sure you can make your commute without issue and without charging at work for several years (at least 4 years and probably longer). If you could charge at 120-volts for a few hours during the day, you could probably make your commute for 8 or 10 years. The 2011/2012 models have proven reliable, but components for the EV system are expensive if they do fail. The climate control (both timer and remote activation) is preset for 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) so pre cooling when plugged in works great during the hotter months and pre heating works great in the colder months. You may get heat instead of cool on relatively cool mornings in the spring and fall, but your really don't need it then. The telematics unit needs to be upgraded if you want to use remote climate control and other EV Connect (CarWings) functions. Cost is $200 if it has not already been done.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

Parrothead
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Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 7:46 am

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Fri May 26, 2017 8:01 am

I have a similar issue, except we're talking about a 2011. Found it at a dealership that has had it for three years (South Dakota is not a hotspot for EV), but it had substantial degradation on the battery. Dealership thinks it can get Nissan to replace with the newest version for the car, but wondering if anyone has had something similar and what to expect in range. Most importantly, is this a decent deal (sits around 8K with about 23K miles)?

Edit: suppose I should put some driving use down: Daily commute car in Minnesota, approximately 19 miles RT five days/week, plus some general around town running. Also occasionally to another local town about 45 miles away, with overnight stay and access to 120V. It's an SL model.

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Stanton
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Leaf Number: 7458
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Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Fri May 26, 2017 9:05 am

I think any 2011/2012 Leaf with a "new" (or candidate for "new") lizard battery pack are a steal! I'm so convinced I wrote an article (http://tinyurl.com/ybomvazb) about my experience.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/floor mats & window tint
12v LiFePO4 battery & FIAMM 74100 horns
Wet Okole seat covers (front)
Tor's low-power heater mod
2013 sun visor
3G modem upgrade
L2 EVSE Upgrade
Battery Pack replaced (Rev E) @51 months and 41k miles

GerryAZ
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Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Sat May 27, 2017 7:34 am

Parrothead wrote:I have a similar issue, except we're talking about a 2011. Found it at a dealership that has had it for three years (South Dakota is not a hotspot for EV), but it had substantial degradation on the battery. Dealership thinks it can get Nissan to replace with the newest version for the car, but wondering if anyone has had something similar and what to expect in range. Most importantly, is this a decent deal (sits around 8K with about 23K miles)?

Edit: suppose I should put some driving use down: Daily commute car in Minnesota, approximately 19 miles RT five days/week, plus some general around town running. Also occasionally to another local town about 45 miles away, with overnight stay and access to 120V. It's an SL model.


If dealer gets new battery installed and provides written documentation, then it should be a good car (if it has the cold weather package). The price is too high without documentation of new battery. I would be concerned about a 2011 for your climate if it does not have the cold weather package. Sitting on a dealer lot for 3 years in South Dakota would probably ruin the battery in a 2011 that does not have the cold weather package because the battery heater (does not exist without cold weather package) needs to cycle on when the battery temperature gets down near 0 degrees F (not sure of exact threshold temperature). If the car has heated seats, steering wheel, and mirrors, then it has the cold weather package and has a battery heater (only late production 2011 LEAFs have the cold weather package). Your short commute makes you a good candidate to take advantage of a LEAF with a deteriorated battery if you can find one at a low price. If you get a 2011 or 2012, you will probably need a way to disable the HVAC heating element to allow ventilation and defrost without excessive power consumption.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

Parrothead
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 7:46 am

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Tue May 30, 2017 6:58 am

GerryAZ wrote:Sitting on a dealer lot for 3 years in South Dakota would probably ruin the battery in a 2011 that does not have the cold weather package because the battery heater (does not exist without cold weather package) needs to cycle on when the battery temperature gets down near 0 degrees F (not sure of exact threshold temperature).


Thanks for the info...I didn't know about the cold weather package piece. I'm guessing the pack will be replaced with the latest version. The question then becomes, will that new pack include the heating capability? There is no cold weather package (seats, wheel, mirrors), but is the battery heater dependent on that particular part of the system?

joeriv
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: Fairfield County CT

Re: Agonizing over buying this '12 Leaf w/ Mar 2017 Battery

Tue May 30, 2017 7:07 am

Other posts on this indicate that the cold weather package can not be added on.
Leaf S with QC, DEC 2013 mfg date

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