neomaxcom
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Nov 2017

Check my logic on buying ...

Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:57 pm

A couple of things first. I haven't had a car payment since 1989 choosing instead to buy good cars outright and run them and ultimately trade them for work from folks that need them. Right now, I've got four - did have six - ICE cars in the stable until my wife's car was totaled by a couple of kids who stole a pickup and turned in front of her ... which puts me in the market for a used leaf. I like the idea and recognize the value of the Leaf EV and would like to put gasoline costs in the same category as the car payment.

I've been doing some shopping in the Atlanta area. I've come across a couple of 2013 leaf's of interest. The first is a base S with out QC, 11 bars and 53,000 miles for $6300 less what cash discount I could muster. The other is a nicer 2013 SL, obviously loaded with a level 2 charger added to the deal that I can get for probably $9 grand, maybe a little less (actual car cost $8500). The SL has the nissan battery warranty (called) in effect until April of next year which, considering it is down to 9 bars with roughly 30,000 miles means that it could qualify for a new battery. It is nice and sharp in all other respect with QC, the heat pump heater, leather, navigation, etc. Tires and other attributes are generally equal between the cars.

In a worse case scenario my wife, who is the one burning up the miles, will change jobs to a place 50 miles away with significant freeway travel which would require twice-daily charging/quick charging. I don't think the S, which doesn't have the QC, would be up to the task of that commute, even with 11 bars and only marginal with a new battery, so it doesn't fit that bill. Still, it does provide a tool to make a price comparison as the SL's value is by definition at least $2000 higher.

I.e. a new battery for the S, which might be necessary down the road IF my wife changes jobs, would definitely require a new battery to be reliable for the 100 mile daily commute - in fact it would be problematic to not assume that every other used leaf, save the 2018, would need at least a battery in tip-top condition if not a new replacement. That said, neither using the current commute of 20 miles one-way with charging options at both locales, would absolutely need a battery replacement.

The choice is the $6000 2013 leaf S vs. the SL with its lower capacity battery (and obvious chance it might go to 8 bars by April) ... and the convenience of the upgraded accessories, etc., quick charge and 6/3kw charging capacity being a near $2,000 option alone. The all-around camera, navigation and leather seating options adding more to the value.

As an additional comparison, the SL model is relative rare and the only comparable I saw only three. One was a 2015 SL with 26,000 miles an asking price of $14,000 ... which obviously would not have a new battery. Another was $15988 with 22,000mi and the third was $14,000 with 32,000. The 2013 I'm looking at has 29,900 miles.

The battery warranty on the 2013 SL with nine bars runs out in April ... and mileage is obviously not a factor ... or in just over five full months. It is obviously a gamble whether the car would drop that last bar between now and then. I've order the ELM 327 bluetooth OBD reader (I think it is version 2.1 so that may be a problem) and have not made direct assessments of the battery. The issue was great enough that the owner got a battery report from Nissan showing the nine-bar status and said 'all is well in late August 17).

Still, I've heard that Nissan does consider partial replacements; aka: discounts on replacement batteries which begs the question what factors are helpful in getting that kind of factory support. For instance my wife is a nurse working for the government (psych ward at jail currently and the new job she's seeking 50 miles away is to a hospital for the mentally disabled).

But again, considering a worse case situation of $5,500 for a new battery, the 2013 at an adjusted price of $14,000 is close to breaking even at the dog track.

Or do I have it all wrong and I need to get a buddy in the car business to go to the auctions and get me a 2015 like that listed at auction for $5 grand :) because the prices being pitched are ridiculous.

neomax

Calaveras
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:41 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Gold country California

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:22 pm

Too many variables for me to comment.
I can give you my experience earlier this year.
Following the advice of this forum and a buddy with a '13 SV I looked and found a '15 SL with all the extras. It had 30k miles and they would not take $300 off the asking price of 12,500 to make the deal. I spotted a Leaf at the next lot priced at $16,600. It was a certified 2016 S with less than a thousand miles. Twelve bars, LeafSpy showed 93% SOH. I offered them the same $12,500 and they stopped me as I walked out twice dropping the price $2,000 each time. I got it out the door for a bit over $13,000. The S model with the shorter range battery and no QC meets my needs as there is not a place to charge other than Level 2 where I live and drive anyway. Most people would not consider it so they were willing to haggle.
2016 S bought used in 2017 with 93% SOH 58 Ah 89 Hx for $12,000
Daily commute is 55 miles round trip with a 2,900 foot elevation climb on the way home.
Calaveras County California

hollandjw
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:49 am
Delivery Date: 23 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 123456
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:31 pm

None of the options you suggest are optimal and you likely have a bit of time that, if used properly, will pay off. Here's a few thoughts:
1. You don't want your wife drive a Leaf 50 miles to work. It will take hours to charge (not useable for lunchtime driving) and be a royal pain... for which you may well get the blame. Plus she'd need an AVAILABLE Level 2 charger that's ALWAYS working.
2. The sweet spot for purchasing a used Leaf is a 2013 either with the battery close to replacement under warranty OR a 12-13 that's just had the battery replaced.
3. You don't plan on reselling, but if this changes you'll wish you had the fast charging option. This will become more important once charging infrastructure improves. Ditto for premium features.

My experience: Bought a 2012 Leaf 2.5 years ago and just had battery replaced under warranty this week. The wife and I share one car and are semi-retired (no kids)... we seldom drive more that 40 mile in a day and have an L2 charger at home. We loved the care BEFORE the battery was upgraged... will REALLY love it now.

As far as your calcuations, you should factor in the near zero maintenance for the EV vs the ICE. This is likely $thousands over a five year period.

Good luck!

powersurge
Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:24 am
Delivery Date: 06 Dec 2014
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:37 am

It is good that more and more people are getting interested in buying electric cars. However, your situation is not one for buying an EV.

1) You cannot expect to drive a car with 9 bars 100 miles per day.

2) You cannot expect to get a free new battery on an older Leaf.

If I had a 50 mile each way commute, I would only consider a gas car.... Good Luck

neomaxcom
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Nov 2017

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:38 am

Calaveras wrote:Too many variables for me to comment.
I can give you my experience earlier this year.
Following the advice of this forum and a buddy with a '13 SV I looked and found a '15 SL with all the extras. It had 30k miles and they would not take $300 off the asking price of 12,500 to make the deal. I spotted a Leaf at the next lot priced at $16,600. It was a certified 2016 S with less than a thousand miles. Twelve bars, LeafSpy showed 93% SOH. I offered them the same $12,500 and they stopped me as I walked out twice dropping the price $2,000 each time. I got it out the door for a bit over $13,000. The S model with the shorter range battery and no QC meets my needs as there is not a place to charge other than Level 2 where I live and drive anyway. Most people would not consider it so they were willing to haggle.


You're right and I know that being willing to walk away in any car lot is a powerful negotiating. Having spent a college summer selling at a high pressure dodge dealership eons ago is one of the reasons I actually fully form what I want before entering the fray.

My post is in a sense psychology 101 ... I'm building a range of outcomes in which I can feel justified for being happy even if the worst circumstance happens ... the car I just bought which was adequate for the 20 mile one-way commute is just not up to the task of the 50 mile commute.

And powerserge is right, I wouldn't consider the 13 Leaf with 9 bars for a daily 100 mile roundtrip commute for my wife. Hence the logic that if nine-bar battery didn't die by warranty end (a gamble), what are the criteria for getting a reduced price for the replacement or just grin and bear it. BTW, presumably with access to a level 1 charger and a full eight hour shift - nurses aren't like secretaries ... they don't dress fancy to go to fancy restaurants where wine is served along with appetizers and a car for errands is not needed. It is much more utilitarian, practical existence where being crispy warm in the to and fro; cuddled in leather in a quiet cockpit with good jams playing feels like a luxury contrasts comfortably to the yells, yelps and screams of the clients who are lined up for pill call at a jail.

Then, the question becomes would a 13 SL with a new battery (whether bought outright, free or subsidized) with access to a level 1 charger for eight hours at work and a level 2 charger at home be capable of making it to and fro from a workplace 45 miles away with no drama? My understanding is that is no problem at all and indeed would be an excellent example of how to save money with a leaf.

-neomaxcom

PS: Hollandjw ...That 2013 SL is I'm hoping the one in that sweet spot that lets me win the lottery ... and if I don't ... I've lost maybe a $1,000 which is easily recoverable through reduced maintenance and fuel for an ICE.

alozzy
Posts: 716
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:53 am

8 hrs of L1 charging will add about 11 kWh to the pack, a little more than half capacity of a new battery pack.

On that amount of charge, you can drive at least 30 miles (probably more, but depends on commute conditions and elevation gain of return trip). 45 miles would be pushing it...
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

slmooreok
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Oklahoma City

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:55 am

I am very new to this, but man I would feel bad putting my wife in a Leaf to make a 100 mile roundtrip commute. There just doesn't seem to be much margin for error. Maybe a used Chevy Volt? If she could charge at work most of the time it would be mostly all electric miles, but if she couldn't then she would still have a gas engine for backup.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 7402
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:08 pm

Look into leasing a Prius Prime.
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.

neomaxcom
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:03 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Nov 2017

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:38 pm

slmooreok wrote:I am very new to this, but man I would feel bad putting my wife in a Leaf to make a 100 mile roundtrip commute. There just doesn't seem to be much margin for error. Maybe a used Chevy Volt? If she could charge at work most of the time it would be mostly all electric miles, but if she couldn't then she would still have a gas engine for backup.


Actually, I'm looking at putting my wife into a leaf to make a 44 mile RT with the knowledge that she is wanting to leave the job - she's been wanting to for eight months - and get hired on to the job that would have the 100 mile daily commute.

Note, this is in Atlanta which was, until Georgia dropped its 5000 benefit for EVs, was the nation's number 4 market. There are a variety of options for charging involved including level 1 charging at nearby residences, a couple of Nissan dealerships with leaf compatible QC stations on the likely route and the knowledge the car is parked most other times. The Interstate portion of the route is generally relatively flat (one long hill) on the way back and if she's traveling in rush hour, the speeds would not be at the power-eating 75+mph and may include a fair amount of parking lot moments. But again, this job is just a possibility.

That said, the chevy volt is a possibility as well but it is not as well suited to the current commute. Fact is, we have the resources if we chose to get a used volt if she were to take that job ... or even lease a 2018 leaf but because of the tax situation, we would not get the full 7500 federal credit because we don't pay that much in federal taxes. Still, if she had that job right now, there's a volt I've found that we would opt for because we'd be able to swing that with no payments.

Heck, plan A - before the car she was driving was totaled - was to drive it to a commuter bus, take public transport to a point near that location and I actually have a beater van I paid $400 bucks for that I was fixing up to run the five miles to her work and back that would be left there with confidence no one would want to steal it.

I guess (despite my age - I'm semi-retired) I'm not all that freaked about the weaker sex thing; my wife being one whom I suspect is up to and fully capable of taking any kind of challenge. (For instance, it would freak me to try and accomplish a 100-mile two-way commute with a leaf with 9 bars and the thinking assumes that is only feasible with a new battery with certainty as to the charging regime.)

Alozzy ... a workable regime: As far as the top up ... You're topped to 100 percent at home with L2; drive 15 miles to the nissan dealer to top up with L3 in about 10-15 minutes ... and then drive 35 miles to work maintaining a 30+mile reserve - top off at work with L1 for the 50 mile trip back home, you should arrive at the l2 home station with 20+ miles for a cushion regardless of conditions and top up to 100 percent overnight with L2 and repeat.

Another option I've scoped out a 2011 Camry hybrid with good miles (78,000) for about the same as the 2013 Leaf LS... but obviously it has no plug in option.

And none offer the 'gamble' of a free new battery (or lower cost replacement - are used buyers automatically excluded from partial coverage?) and despite the odds against it, the odds are a several orders of magnitude greater than winning the lottery.

- neomaxcom

BuckMkII
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Check my logic on buying ...

Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:20 pm

Does she REALLY want that charging regimen *every day?* One hundred miles seems like a pretty brutal commute even before adding in stops for recharging. OTOH, I guess saving at least a couple thou$and a year in gas is some compensation. ;)

Is the L1 at work absolutely reliable? If not, you don't get home unless there are DCQC stations near work on the route back. Definitely get a car with a QC port. Also a 6.6 kW OBC.

Partial credit for battery replacement may be a thing of the past.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=24800
2013 SV no QC, manufactured July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
on 9/29/17: AHr = 55.3; SOH = 84%; Hx = 81.6; ODO = 41,492
bar 12 lost 8/21/17

Return to “New Members & Newbie Questions”