krush40
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:01 am
Location: Southern California

2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:39 am

This forum is full of lots of great information, so before I get into my question, I wanted to thank everyone for the great information!

I'm in the market for a different car option. I have a 2016 Mazda CX5 that was initially purchased to be our family vehicle, but my wife has since gotten a Toyota Sienna, and now my car only goes to work and back (about 20 miles round trip in mostly rush hour freeway traffic; typically 30-45 min each way). The plan is to get rid of the Mazda (and it's payment) and replace it with something that will get me to work and back for the next 5 or so years and not cost a lot along the way while we eventually reevaluate our needs.

The idea of a Leaf is intriguing for a variety of reasons including eliminating gas bill, most maintenance costs (oil changes, etc), and I believe can help with our home electric bill due to different billing styles involving EV through the power company.

Anyways, all of the above has led me to looking at used Leafs, but now I need your advice.

If the price was the same and both had the same amount of bars, would you prefer:

• 2015 with over 80k miles
• 2013 with 45k miles
• Keep looking


I know the 2015 has a "better" battery, but also a lot more miles. What is the more important factor in judging a Leaf: age or mileage?

Thank you for you advice!
Last edited by krush40 on Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Silverfish
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:32 am
Delivery Date: 21 Jun 2018

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:08 am

A few thoughts:

- I'd use Leaf Spy to find out the battery's actual stats. What looks like 11 bars could be nearly 12 or nearly 10.
- If the batteries' stats were similar, I'd personally probably go with the 2015.
- If the 2013 was manufactured before March, I'd give it a pass, since I believe 2013's made in Jan-March of 2013 did not have the better thermal management system. (I got one made in 2/2013 before discovering this, oops.)
- It also depends on your climate, the car's range, and how much you drive. Remember that as time goes on, range gradually shrinks, so it's better to get a good bit more than you need right now.
- If you wait until the 2019 Leafs come out (end of this year, maybe?), you might get an even better deal. Or possibly used Leaf prices will go up. Hard to be sure.

Good luck.

krush40
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:01 am
Location: Southern California

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:28 am

Once I get to the point of purchase I will definitely look into Leaf Spy. In my younger years I worked in car audio install so I have a higher knowledge about cars/electronics that the average person, but the idea of an EV in general is still new to me.

My commute is roughly 12 miles each way with an errand or two at lunch every once in a while. So in theory, a car that started with a range around 80 and is probably down to about 60 would give me 35-40 miles a day outside of my normal commute. I assume that will drop over time as well, but in theory could be offset by more chargers being available in public places. My wife has an identical commute, so in pinch we could always switch if I needed more range on a given day.

I guess the next question would be about replacing the battery in a few years if/when the range gets to be an issue. I've seen conflicting info all over the internet, but it appears to cost about $8,000 to replace the battery these days, right? And I assume that would be "modern technology" but the same capacity?

goldbrick
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Colorado front range

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:42 am

12 mile commute makes it very easy if you only want to use the car for commuting. A lot depends on your climate though as the heater on some models takes quite a bit of power. Climate also affects the longevity of the battery quite a bit so knowing where you live will help a lot on the advice you get.

Current replacement batteries from Nissan are roughly $8k. For that you will get the latest battery chemistry but the same capacity that the car originally came with. There may be DIY extender packs available soon or maybe even 3rd party replacement battery packs available at some point in the future but like Yogi says, 'It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.'

There are quite a few feature differences between the various models and years. The models AFAIK have stayed constant with the S, SV and SL models. On top of that, there are variations between the years. I would try to test drive as many available models and years that you can to see if any of the options really matter to you.

I would highly recommend getting LeafSpy (it's about a $20 investment) to get a better idea of the battery health of any car you look at.

krush40
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:01 am
Location: Southern California

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:55 am

I'm in Orange County, CA near Disneyland. At work I park under a building out of the sun. At home I currently park in the driveway, but can be in the garage for charging if I end up with a Leaf.

I've pretty much decided I'm not interested in anything prior to 2013 due to battery chemistry and I'm pretty sure I don't want an S due to some of the feature upgrades I've read about on here like different heater, etc.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9580
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:58 am

Two clarifications on the 2013: the better battery chemistry began in April 2013 builds, and 45k miles isn't really "low" for a Leaf - it's still a little bit high. (By the same token, 80K miles is definitely high for a 2015.) Also, the 2015 will still have some remaining powertrain warranty, and the 2013 won't. If the 2013 is an SV or SL, it will have lots of features, plus the 80% charge limiter. Given all that, and taking into account that the 2013 should have enough range for your needs, you'd want to get the 2015 unless there is a large price difference, just for the extra battery longevity - assuming it wasn't driven in a really Hot climate.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Reddy
Posts: 1539
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:01 pm

krush40 wrote:I'm in Orange County, CA near Disneyland. At work I park under a building out of the sun. At home I currently park in the driveway, but can be in the garage for charging if I end up with a Leaf.

I've pretty much decided I'm not interested in anything prior to 2013 due to battery chemistry and I'm pretty sure I don't want an S due to some of the feature upgrades I've read about on here like different heater, etc.
Ok, given your commute and location, you're in good shape to get either. Yes, pay the extra and get an SL or SV, not the S. Also, don't give up on the 2013, as long as it's built AFTER March, maybe even April. FYI, I have a 2011, lousy battery, with 48,000 mi and 9 bars (<70%). I can easily get 25 mi RT even in winter (which you don't have), easily 50 mi in summer. A coworker got the 2013 (June build) and has over 60,000 mi and still hasn't lost a bar (>85%), 45 mi RT commute. His heater is the efficient heat pump (SV or SL, I don't remember) and mine is the older energy hog (like the ones in the S version). If both vehicles were the same price, and identical configuration that matched my needs/wants, then I would definitely get the higher mileage 2015. Mileage for EVs is not an accurate predictor of general condition as in ICE vehicles. Sometimes it's actually the opposite. TaylorSFGuy got 150,000 mi in his 2011 Leaf in Seattle with a 135 mi RT commute. Those miles were added very quickly, and he didn't lose his 1st bar until >75,000 mi, while most of us lost ours in 20-40,000 mi. EDIT: I see Leftiebiker clarified the April build. Thanks, I can never remember.
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 45,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9580
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:05 pm

Actually, the S uses a better direct to air heater than the 2011-2012 Leafs. It still uses lots of power, but heats faster and has an On-Off switch so there is no drain from it when you don't need it.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

krush40
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:01 am
Location: Southern California

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:14 pm

The two I used for this comparison are a 2013 SL and 2015 SV.

The 2015 is listed for roughly $800 cheaper, although I haven't spoken to either seller whether there's wiggle room.

Reddy
Posts: 1539
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: 2013 with low miles or 2015 with high miles?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:34 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:Actually, the S uses a better direct to air heater than the 2011-2012 Leafs. It still uses lots of power, but heats faster and has an On-Off switch so there is no drain from it when you don't need it.
Good to know. My 2011 still meets my in-town needs and probably will for another 10 years. Finally after 7+ years, we now have TWO DC Quick Charge station in our area, with a 3rd coming soon. At only $0.35/min, (highway robbery when I pay $0.07/KWh at home), I won't be using it for a few more years.
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 45.80 AHr; 45,000 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

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