Thank you all so much for your input!
Reddy, I am with you on cranking the heat. I have a much higher heat tolerance than average, and that’s definitely a plus of living in AZ and driving short distances! I don’t even use AC all the time in the summer. That said, having instant cold AC every now and then is a desirable feature here, even for me!
Reasons to drive LEAF EV in AZ:
1. Carpool lane access!
2. Reduced vehicle license tax and registration fees.
3. Among best vehicle air conditioning systems available.
4. Fuel and maintenance cost savings compared to comparable gasoline or Diesel engine vehicle for high annual mileage use is enough to pay for new battery when needed.
5. Convenience--plug in at night, drive during day and never stop at gas stations.
Yes! Number one on your list isn’t such a thing for me down in Tucson as we don’t have the carpool lanes, but all of the other things you list are precisely why I am considering a Leaf. I find numbers four and five particularly appealing, even as a low mileage driver, and here’s why: I understand that low mileage means that I won’t get the “full value” of the car, but I don’t think that’s exclusive to the Leaf, any EV, or frankly any car. As a low mileage driver who doesn’t have a daily car commute and wants to keep living without debt other than student loans and a mortgage, I am reluctant to spend a lot on a car. Yes, I could buy a new car, or even a one/two year old car to take advantage of the initial value depreciation, but that would add debt to my life, and for my limited driving needs I just don’t want to. And yes, that goes for the Leaf, too: y’all have convinced me not to get a newer Leaf. As I mentioned before, I feel like I should be able to live without a car, but I just can’t do it long term. I appreciate the convenience of having a car, and am willing to spend a bit of money on one. Let’s say $7000 or less.
What I see in a Leaf, particularly a 2011 + new battery, is a car that has a bunch of great qualities that a comparably priced ICE car might be less likely to have:
All of the Leafs are hatchbacks
Finding a Leaf with under 70,000 miles is easy; finding a ICE that I am willing to pay for with so few miles is much harder. As the cars age and the miles increase, the maintenance, both scheduled and un-planned, increases – as do the expenses and hassle which can easily become substantial. With a Leaf, even one that would need a new battery let’s say in six years based on what I’ve read about battery degradation and what I know about my driving habits, what I see is a car that I could pay less than $7,000 for now, and then drive for those six years with very low expenses (i.e. gas, registration fees, and more importantly maintenance as compared to a much older and/or higher mileage ICE car that I would be willing to pay for). At the end of those six years, I’d know that I would need to either fork over the money for a new battery or get a new car. Battery degradation is a thing, especially in Arizona, but it seems like the return on investment that I would get on a cheap older Leaf makes it worth serious consideration.
Thankfully, I am here for the content and not your judgment, so to powersurge in particular, please tell me how wrong I am, but please do be specific. I genuinely want to learn.