Boourns
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:59 am
Location: Austin/Round Rock, TX

What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:38 pm

Hi from a prospective Leaf owner. My question is this: What do you wish you had known (or thought to look up) before you bought/leased your leaf?

I put the question first for the tl;dr types, but here's a little background. My name is Matt and I live in the Austin, Texas area. The lease on my current ICE vehicle ends in March 2014 and I'm researching a replacement. Currently the Leaf is at the top of my list. I think EVs are the future, and I'm tired of struggling to reach 22 mpg.

I drive 32 miles round trip to work every day on a commute that involves a little rush hour highway, a little city, and about half what I'd call country road driving, with speeds about 50 mph. My average speed on the trip is 29-31 mph. I think all things considered the Leaf would be a good choice for me, since my wife will keep her ICE small SUV. I am leaning toward a 24-month lease, since in the summer it's hotter than Hades' pantaloons here, and I see that can result in substantial battery degradation. My lease return is a Nissan product, so hopefully I can get a good deal on the Leaf lease.

I have time to thoroughly research the purchase, so I hope to be as informed as I can be about obvious issues. I suspect that the Leaf was many of your first EV, like it would be mine, so you researched things to the best of your ability before your purchase. I would appreciate your input on anything you wish you had known before you bought the car that may not be so obvious.

Thanks and I look forward to learning a lot more about the Leaf here.
2013 SV

thankyouOB
Posts: 3576
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:14 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 1442
Location: Coastal LA

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:54 pm

i wish i had known that nissan would steal the battery i bought when i purchased the car in 2011. this was not disclosed.

that is effectively what nissan is doing by refusing to sell or price a new battery and instead telling owners, who need a replacement, that they can lease one for $100 a month.
Oh, and you have to give them your old battery for free. that is the steal-my-battery part.

regardless of that downside, and it is a big one; yes, i love my LEAF. But wonder why nissan is trying so hard to ruin the brand with their battery tricks and pr gaffs.
The car is great in my situation and would be in yours. It works really well here in temperate Coastal L.A.
I commute 50 miles roundtrip, have gone 27k miles, and still have all my bars.
Last edited by thankyouOB on Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
may reserve/delivery 4/30/11
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ECOtality/LADWP/ Blink 4/4/11
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Gardena Nissan, msrp -1k
red SL with etec L3
SOLAR POWERED since 2008

Reddy
Posts: 1419
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:56 pm

Welcome! There have been lots of others ask the same or similar questions. Spend a few hours/days searching and reading previous threads and you will learn more than you can imagine. Only two things I wish I knew:
(1) How slowly quick chargers would be installed, especially out here in the sticks. I decided to upgrade to the 2011 SL with QC and all the bells and whistles. Part of that was based on a belief that DCQC stations would be installed at ALL Nissan dealerships, not just in the larger metropolitan areas. Now it's pretty obvious that eastern WA will be skipped over. I like the extras, but ended up paying for a QC that I will likely never use again. Oh well, live and learn.
(2) How quickly the prices would drop. Paid MSRP in 2011. Now new prices are $5000 less and used prices are even lower.
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 46.44 AHr; 40,067 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

User avatar
evnow
Moderator
Posts: 11423
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:41 am
Delivery Date: 25 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 303
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:59 pm

Boourns wrote:Hi from a prospective Leaf owner. My question is this: What do you wish you had known (or thought to look up) before you bought/leased your leaf?

Winter range (but that wouldn't have changed my decision, obviously).

I think your commute distance is ideal - similar to mine. You can easily make it - and you should lease so that you can take advantage of the improving technology in the coming years.

Oh BTW, ignore people who try to spread lies, like the above poster about "stealing battery". Reminds of how Obama is supposed to come and steal your guns.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to 3/21/2017
Volt : 3/25/2017 to ?

epic
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:53 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Oct 2012
Leaf Number: 025174
Location: burnet,texas

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:27 pm

im in round rock ,also. no regrets. the 2014 ford focus all electric is offering some also awsome deals. Prior to lease i found out the deals on the leaf. presented them to Jerry at round rock nissan & he met their price. { california dealers have the lowest pices. they met them , no questions asked}Talk to jerry. He is good. Their service is lacking---But, jerry is good-jerry krider.

thankyouOB
Posts: 3576
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:14 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 1442
Location: Coastal LA

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:44 pm

evnow wrote:
Oh BTW, ignore people who try to spread lies, like the above poster about "stealing battery". Reminds of how Obama is supposed to come and steal your guns.


nice.

Riddle me this, EVNOW:
How much is nissan going to pay you for your old battery core, when you trade in your battery to buy a new one?
Last edited by thankyouOB on Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thankyouOB
Posts: 3576
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:14 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 1442
Location: Coastal LA

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:50 pm

answer:
they wont sell you a new battery.
they wont pay you anything for your battery core or your used battery.
they will just take the old battery and charge you $100 a month forever to lease a new battery, which you cant keep.

User avatar
Nubo
Posts: 4417
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:07 pm

Boourns wrote:I drive 32 miles round trip to work every day on a commute that involves a little rush hour highway, a little city, and about half what I'd call country road driving, with speeds about 50 mph. My average speed on the trip is 29-31 mph. I think all things considered the Leaf would be a good choice for me, since my wife will keep her ICE small SUV.


Very close to my situation in terms of commute distance, and 2nd car. This is really the sweet spot for an EV like LEAF. It will handle your commute distance with ease, and even if you charge to only 80% you'll have leftover range for errands or other local trips in the evening. And of course you have the other vehicle for long distances.

I did quite a bit of reading before I got the car. Can't say that there were any nasty surprises from the car itself. It cost a bit more than I'd hoped to get an L2 EVSE installed but that was just from the particular electric situation in our home.

All in all I'm quite pleased with the car. Nissan could do better in its handling of early adopters. But for me that's mostly a concern about promoting EVs in general. Then again, how many manufacturers have gone all-in and are making EVs for national consumption?

With a 2-year lease you needn't worry about the battery replacement debate unless you have serious thoughts about buying at the end.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

RonDawg
Posts: 2686
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:11 pm

thankyouOB wrote:answer:
they wont sell you a new battery.
they wont pay you anything for your battery core or your used battery.
they will just take the old battery and charge you $100 a month forever to lease a new battery, which you cant keep.


Will you stop already? Your views on Nissan's battery replacement program are well known. No need to clog up additional threads on the subject.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar on 11/21/2015 at 26,435 miles.
Lease returned on 12/23/2015. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL

cgaydos
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:36 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Leaf Number: 009493025635
Location: Monument, Colorado

Re: What do you wish you had known before purchase?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:29 pm

Boourns wrote:Hi from a prospective Leaf owner. My question is this: What do you wish you had known (or thought to look up) before you bought/leased your leaf?

I put the question first for the tl;dr types, but here's a little background. My name is Matt and I live in the Austin, Texas area. The lease on my current ICE vehicle ends in March 2014 and I'm researching a replacement. Currently the Leaf is at the top of my list. I think EVs are the future, and I'm tired of struggling to reach 22 mpg.

I drive 32 miles round trip to work every day on a commute that involves a little rush hour highway, a little city, and about half what I'd call country road driving, with speeds about 50 mph. My average speed on the trip is 29-31 mph. I think all things considered the Leaf would be a good choice for me, since my wife will keep her ICE small SUV. I am leaning toward a 24-month lease, since in the summer it's hotter than Hades' pantaloons here, and I see that can result in substantial battery degradation. My lease return is a Nissan product, so hopefully I can get a good deal on the Leaf lease.

I have time to thoroughly research the purchase, so I hope to be as informed as I can be about obvious issues. I suspect that the Leaf was many of your first EV, like it would be mine, so you researched things to the best of your ability before your purchase. I would appreciate your input on anything you wish you had known before you bought the car that may not be so obvious.

Thanks and I look forward to learning a lot more about the Leaf here.


It sounds like you've already researched the matter well. I think he biggest negative surprises for most people are the two that have been mentioned. First, for those of us in colder climates the range on very cold days is a lot less than I'd expected. Second - and by far the biggest issue with the LEAF - for those in climates with very high temperatures the fast battery degradation.

The second point has really upset a lot of LEAFers in those hot climates - and even more so due to the fiasco around the pre-announced battery lease program last month. A few of those LEAFers are so upset that they post complaints many times per day on many different threads in this forum - but fortunately that's a tiny minority of LEAFers so take that into account.

Since you are in a hot climate it is best if you have a short lease or perhaps consider a car with a thermal management system to keep the battery cool. The Volt and the Ford Focus Electric both have such a system. Even with a 2 year lease you will likely find that your LEAF range is a lot less at the end of the lease than it was at the start.

Otherwise fourlesser points I can mention. First, the charging timer set-up is needlessly complex. Eventually we settled on configuring the car to charge to 80% by default and then use the cancel timer feature (a button in the car, or via the carwings app) when we need a charge to 100%. You do want to avoid having the car sit for a long period of time with a 100% charge. Second, I wish I knew about evseupgrade.com before I got my Schneider home EVSE (a.k.a. "charger"). The Schneider is great, but the EVSEupgrade is cheaper and offers more flexibility as it is portable and can work, for example, at RV campsites. Third, this didnt trip me up but has tripped up a few other people. If you buy an EV and get the $7500 tax credit you almost certainly won't be able to also claim the 30% EVSE credit the same year due to AMT. This issue applies to all EVs, not just the LEAF, but does not apply to a lease, as the leasing company takes the credit in that case. Finally, you'll probably use the car a lot more than you think you will. This is a common experience - you get the LEAF thinking you'll just use it on sub-50 mile round trips and the ICE car for everything else, then you love the LEAF so much you start testing the range limits and planning trips around charging stations. For that reason definitely consider the 6.6kw charging option (standard on SV and SL).
Red Leaf: 2012 SL, lease, acquired 21 November 2012
Blue Leaf: 2011 SL, purchase (new, was dealer demo), acquired 4 March 2013

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