ATT
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:57 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Jan 2018
Location: Irvine, CA

Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:54 pm

Hi All,

Happy New Year everyone! I am new to the forum and have been researching getting a used Nissan Leaf (2013 - 2015) for the last 2 weeks. Here is my current situation.

I live in an apartment complex in Irvine, CA. The apartment complex do have charging station, at the rate of $1.25/hr.
My work also have charging station installed by Chargepoint. Work offers free charging for the first 2 hrs, and then it's $0.02/min after that.

My commute is fairly modest, about 16 - 18 miles round trip depending on the route that I take. I typically will do some errands on the way home.
This will be our second car, as we do have a compact SUV as the primary vehicle.

The way I figured it, I will need a 2013 or higher leaf with 6.6kW charging capabilities, to take advantage of 2 hr of free charging at work. I could probably get by just charging 2 hr a day on most days. If I need a full charge, I can simply leave the car charging until full at work. The one thing that I am trying to figure out is whether I will be able to consistently get a parking spot at the charging station. The designated EV spots have been full the last two days that I checked. Given how busy people are, it's not likely people will move their car out of the spot during lunch time so another EV can park there in the afternoon. (Even though that is what is suggested by work)

I don't really want to rely on the paid charging station in my apartment as the primary charging either.

Any one in similar situation that they can share their experiences? Is this doable?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9418
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:49 am

I'm not in that situation, but I do have a suggestion. If the charging station is often unused but with a charged car blocking it, and there are adjacent spaces available with no station, a 20' J-1772 extension cord might be very helpful. You might even be able to buy one jointly for use by employees to allow several people to use one station sequentially, without having to move cars as much. Not ideal, but possibly workable, especially if the extension could be locked into place to prevent theft or "borrowing."
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.

ATT
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:57 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Jan 2018
Location: Irvine, CA

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:10 am

Thanks for your suggestion on the extension cord. I will look into the possibility of parking in adjacent spots that are closed the EV spots.

Assuming that I can figured out the charging situation at work, what do you guys think of me buying a used Leaf?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9418
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:16 am

Remember that I'm talking about a $2-300 extension cord for the charging cable, not a regular extension cord. I have one. As for buying a Leaf with no individual home charging, that's always problematic. With your two locales for charging, though, it can work. I hope you aren't the neurotic type, though. ;-)
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.

alozzy
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:32 am

in your situation, I would be sure to buy a LEAF with the charge package (including CHADEMO) as Irvine has lots of DCQC stations (albeit, not cheap) which you can use when you need a quick boost and don't have access to either your home or work charging options.
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

goldbrick
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Colorado front range

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:37 am

All I can add is that you can check the status of the charger (see whether it is full) on the web using ChargePoint's website. We have a 4 bay charger here at work and I just check it from my PC and if a spot is open I move my car in and start charging. Hopefully you could contact the other folks using the charger and explain to them that they need to move their car when they are done charging to help share the charger. Of course, if there are 10 cars wanting to charge on one bay for 2 hours each it will be full constantly.

For the charger in your apartment, assuming you can charge at 6kW, at $1.25 per hour you will get (very roughly) 20 miles per $1. Probably cheaper than gas in LA and there is very little maintenance required on a Leaf. Plus I find it a very fun car to drive, and it is specially good for short trips that are hard on a regular ICE car.

I find the free charging at work a nice bonus but even if I had to charge at home ($0.12/kWh) energy costs would be much less for me than gas. In your situation, it will still be a bit lower. You will still get the reduced maintenance and fun of driving an electric car, though. And if the charger at work is constantly full maybe you can convince your employer to add some capacity.

Tonyt
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:36 pm
Delivery Date: 30 May 2011
Location: OC California

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:43 am

There are lots of charging stations around here and more are being added all the time. April 2013+ are supposed to have the battery and degradation should be less of an issue for further commutes. Get the PlugShare app for you phone to see what's available. Work charging can be a little tricky if you are seeing the stations full all the time. Your distance should not be an issue. EV driving is great around here.
The cars I drive on a regular basis.

2011 Leaf SL, bought as 4 bar looser!
2015 Fusion Energi, Gas guzzler!
2016 Fiat 500e
2016 Spark EV

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9418
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:45 pm

April 2013+ are supposed to have the battery and degradation should be less of an issue for further commutes.


He means the improved battery chemistry that replaced the awful fast-degrading 'Canary' packs. I call these the 'Wolf packs.' I have one.
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.

BuckMkII
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:56 am

Short answer: Yes.

I have similar commute needs and free L2 charging at work, 2 hours max. I bought a 2013 SV at the end of May and I expect it to work well for me for at least five years, hopefully more like eight. Currently, I usually use the 80% limit setting that is only on 2013 and earlier cars. This gives me enough range that if some jerks are blocking up the charging stations at work all day instead of moving after two hours (which happened for most of the day yesterday: one Leaf, one Audi and one Volt), I would have no problem with another round trip, and could even limp home the second day to use L1 charging at my house, unless I had gone wild using the heater constantly on all five legs of the trip. (I was *shocked* at how much winter killed the range, even though it's not actually cold here.) At some point, degradation will be bad enough that I will not have the luxury of doing an extra round trip.

I quickly began to regret, a little, not coughing up an extra grand for a QC car. It would be nice to be able to plan some junkets that are farther from home than 40 miles summer, 30 miles winter, even though we still have two ICE cars. I would have taken the Leaf on at least one weekend over the summer which was just a bit outside what I was willing to try without a QC option. OTOH, it will be a LONG time before I spend $1000 on gas for those rare outings. Probably well outside the life of the Leaf.
2013 SV no QC, built 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
bar 12 lost 8/21/17
on 8/23/18: AHr = 54.6; SOH = 83.5%; Hx = 78.2; ODO = 49,746

User avatar
Nubo
Posts: 4887
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:01 am
Delivery Date: 31 Oct 2014
Location: Vallejo, CA

Re: Is a used Leaf suitable for me?

Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:04 pm

ATT wrote:...The one thing that I am trying to figure out is whether I will be able to consistently get a parking spot at the charging station. The designated EV spots have been full the last two days that I checked. Given how busy people are, it's not likely people will move their car out of the spot during lunch time so another EV can park there in the afternoon. (Even though that is what is suggested by work)


At my previous employer, we had an informal mailing list where we would tell each other when we were moving our cars so that someone else could begin charging. This worked ok, but as time went on our "EV population" increased markedly. We went from a handful of plug-ins to nearly 20 in the span of a year. And as we only had 2 charge ports, that meant it was nearly impossible for everyone to get a charge window in the course of a day. The matter was complicated by the charging being completely free, so folks who had no actual need to plug-in nevertheless would do so religiously.

So do consider this possibility and realize that the number of EVs is likely to keep increasing (perhaps dramatically) over your intended timeframe. Unless your employer has definite plans for keeping up with demand, make sure you have an alternate plan for charging.

The same holds for your apartment complex -- how many charge ports vs. the number of cars? Will you be able to guarantee your continued ability to charge?
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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