joeDees
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:46 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2018
Location: I'm In the HOT Central CA sun

Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs? (SOLVED!)

Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:11 pm

...at least for a while?

I'm considering buying a '13 Leaf SL, 48000 miles, from Carmax through a great program at Valleycan.org where, if you qualify, you trade your old smoker (car that wont pass smog) in. Then they give you $9500 to buy a (an all electric) car! Yes, I said that correctly. $9500! It's really something (which is why I'm doing it). Through this program the car would basically cost me a bit over $2000 plus my old car, which isn't worth much and would be a hassle to get rid of.

I have a 40 mile daily commute. The first half is done in the dead of night, with the last 10 miles basically a gradual uphill climb (only a very short stretch is a bit steep but not too bad). The back-home stretch, done in the morning after rush hour, has a good downhill stretch where a bit of coasting can be done. There's no charging station at work.

When I looked at the car (the first time I had ever been anywhere near a Leaf, except on the road) I saw it has 10 bars, and when turned on it had 99% battery and 66 miles on it (the “guess-o-meter”, right?). We sat there a few minutes talking before driving, with the A/C blasting away (it was hot) and at the start of the drive the miles had gone down to 58 (so I'm sure we used a few miles cooling down the inside of the car). We went on an 8 mile test drive (I had wanted to drive to my work but they wouldn't allow a drive that far), A/C on, with, I'd say about 5 miles start and stop driving and 3 miles on the freeway. At the end the car had 44 miles left after going 8 miles (8 miles caused the car to go down 14 miles). If this were my real commute, using that example, I would have 44 miles on the meter to complete 32 miles worth of driving (with both the uphill and downhill legs still in front of me).

Now, about me and my commute. I've been practising the last couple months driving to work at around 4o mph in anticipation of this new event, and, since there is basically no one else on the road, it's really not that bad. It takes a little more time but it suites me fine. Thats in the middle of the night, when its cool, so I need no A/C. I've also done a lot of night driving wrapped in blankets, so the heating isn't that big of an issue either. Then the drive home is fairly easy too, early enough so its not done in the big heat of the day, but with considerably more traffic.

So do you think this can work for me? I know 10 bars is not really good, I know it could go to 9 at any time and I'm sure 8 bars would probably really put me in the danger zone rangewise, if I could even go 40 miles far at that point. I've read about the new battery option and it sounds like a pretty good deal to me for when the time came, I'd just like to put that off for as long as I could.

I've committed to getting this car, but with the knowledge that I can take it back with no obligation up to 5 days after buying. I explained to the guy they didn't let me test drive the car to where I needed to go to see what its really like, so there could be a very real possibility I could bring the car back. He seemed ok with that.

What do you think? Yay or nay?
Last edited by joeDees on Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cwerdna
Posts: 8206
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:07 pm

What's the build month? It's on the driver's side door sticker.

Where did it reside before, per Carfax/Autocheck?

Where are you located? Can you update your location info via your user name in the upper right > User Control Panel > Profile tab? That way, we don't need to ask in future posts/threads or do sleuthing to deduce it.

How much is this car? Does it have the premium package? If it does, it'd have the Bose stereo w/subwoofer in the trunk and a camera button on the bezel w/4 camera Around View Monitor.

10 bars on a '13 isn't good. My '13 is at 11 (lost 1st bar in Nov 2017) and looks like it has awhile to go before hitting 10. I'm past 56K miles on my 5/2013 built car.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

joeDees
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:46 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2018
Location: I'm In the HOT Central CA sun

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:16 pm

cwerdna wrote:What's the build month? It's on the driver's side door sticker.

Where did it reside before, per Carfax/Autocheck?

How much is this car? Does it have the premium package? If it does, it'd have the Bose stereo w/subwoofer in the trunk and a camera button on the bezel w/4 camera Around View Monitor.

10 bars on a '13 isn't good. My '13 is at 11 (lost 1st bar in Nov 2017) and looks like it has awhile to go before hitting 10. I'm past 56K miles on my 5/2013 built car.


Location in profile changed :)

Per Autocheck:
MFG 3/26/13 (Not in April...bad, right?)

Driven nearly 10,000 miles in Georgia.
Around 10,000 in San Jose.
The rest in Roseville.

Car costs $10,998, is SL but doesn't have the premium package.

Maybe this is interesting to you seeing how this battery has gone down in the hot central valley, and hot Georgia, for the most part, compared to yours having all it's time in the bay area.

joeDees
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:46 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2018
Location: I'm In the HOT Central CA sun

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:23 pm

I'm sure some people will probably be thinking that's not a good price for what I'd be getting but I have to fit in with what the program offers, and that is you have to buy the car at Carmax and nowhere else. So, with the way they charge, I already understand I'm most likely not going to get the most possible for the money, nor the greatest selection either.

Pretty much It's go with what they have or don't go at all.

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Marktm
Gold Member
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 09 Jan 2016
Leaf Number: 022737
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:37 pm

Joe:

If you are not in a time crunch and want a Leaf, take the time to get LeafSpy Pro and an OBDII dongle. Learn about GIDs, ahrs, SOC, battery temps, etc. It will be worth your while before deciding on which Leaf to buy. The variability of how many GIDs are used up every mile is quite high and depends on many factors:

My 2012 Leaf (resistive heating only) will drop available miles dramatically - the seat heaters hardly at all, but I'm in South TX, so not much heater required.
The air conditioner will NOT drop miles significantly if I'm the only passenger and all vents are directed on me and temp kept at 76 degrees - very comfortable as the humidity control is excellent. However, put my Grandkids in the back with a hot car and A/C on full blast, the energy usage easily triples (1500 watts +). The heater is funky as it tries to come on with the A/C - quite complicated logic (seems nonsensical). Some good ways to bypass the heater issue on this forum.
I've found that driving around 55 MPH uses optimal power levels and usually can find others going that speed - so no issues except on high speed freeways - which I avoid anyway.
LeafSpy gives battery pack temperatures - VERY useful information for us owners in a hot climate. What I've found is that in normal commute usage, even every day, that parking in shade, combined with late night level II charging (3.3kw) while stored in a garage has resulted in high 80's, low 90's battery temps. However, parking one time in the sun on hot pavement, the temp goes to the high 90's+ and is quite difficult to get back down. I do not quick charge, but my guess is that would cause a similar jump in pack temperatures - maybe more. There seems to be substantial "heat capacitance" in these packs, so in normal use the temps hold fairly constant. My temp bars are still at "6" in South TX and it's been a scorcher this summer.
Don't have many hills in So TX, so not much help on that. I do wonder if for a one charge round trip and using high regen mode, it might not even be an issue? Others may know.

The data I've been able to collect on GIDS per mile ranges from 3.2 to 3.9 based on the conditions stated above. I like GIDS/mi because I believe GIDS are the best measurement of actual battery energy level and with LeafSpy can easily plan a trip with no "range anxiety". I pay little attention to the GOM.

Hope this helps - and it should as you appear to be thoughtful about your purchase. I absolutely have no regrets about this great little car - for it's purpose of commuter transport!
2012 Leaf SL; 36,000 miles. Battery replaced November 1st, 2016.

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Marktm
Gold Member
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 09 Jan 2016
Leaf Number: 022737
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:54 pm

Also - since you will likely be "cutting it close", there are usually a few somewhat unexpected miles left when you hit VLBW (very low battery warning). What I've found on my 2012 is that about 20-25 GIDS remain at VLBW. I have not taken it to "turtle", but let's assume there are 5 GIDS at turtle, the actual miles left could be (20-5)/3.2 ~ 5 miles! I use 3.2 GIDS/mi as I'm sure you'll be maximizing your remaining battery by every method possible. Would not do this on purpose as it can be hard on the battery - especially if you have some "weak cells" like I do.

Have others found a consistent GIDS remaining at turtle??
2012 Leaf SL; 36,000 miles. Battery replaced November 1st, 2016.

RonDawg
Posts: 2850
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:17 pm

If you're able to afford a bit more, I'd try to go for a 2015 with the so-called "lizard" battery. The early 2013 you are thinking about might degrade too quickly in your climate and might make your 40 mile requirement rather sketchy in just a couple of years.

If your local CarMax doesn't have a 2015, keep in mind that in most cases they are willing to bring a car in from a different store. They usually charge for this, but occasionally it's free. For example, here's a 2015 Leaf SV for $12k with 39k miles being offered at their store in Torrance: https://www.carmax.com/car/15912774 Don't know your zip code so I can't determine how much CarMax would charge you to bring it to your local store. However I found a 2017 at their Serramonte (just outside of San Francisco) that they're willing to transfer to my local store here in the LA area for just $149. And one from their Phoenix store for just...$99.

The Modesto store has this 2015 SV with 55k miles for $11,600, but it's "non-transferable." https://www.carmax.com/car/15736049 I'm not sure how far away Modesto is from you. However, if you have access to a tow vehicle of sufficient capacity (or can rent one) and can rent/borrow a tow dolly, you can always bring it home this way, and would be well worth the trouble if for some reason you can't get one for a reasonable transfer fee from one of the other CarMax locations.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. 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.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9365
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:13 pm

To explain the build month problem further: the first generation Leaf battery packs, from 2011 through March of 2013, degrade quickly in most climates, and VERY quickly in hot ones. These packs, which I dubbed the "Canary Pack," are not desirable except in that they lower resale value and can be appealing to those with very short commutes. You do NOT want a Canary pack for anything beyond a 30 mile commute. The chemistry was improved greatly beginning in April of 2013, and these packs were made through the rest of 2013 and all of 2014. Dubbed (again by me) the Wolf Packs, they do very well in all climates except hot ones, where they degrade almost as fast as their predecessors. Then, in 2015, Nissan came out with the "Lizard Pack" (nicknamed by Nissan). This pack is the best one that Nissan ever produced. Sadly, when Nissan raised the capacity from 24 to 30kwh in 2016, they sacrificed resistance to degradation for more capacity; the 2016 and 2017 30kwh packs are just as bad as the Canary packs, and possibly even a bit worse under some conditions. I've been calling these abominations the "Lettuce Packs" because of their short shelf life, as it were.

So essentially, you want a pack made between April of 2013 and model year 2016.
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.

cwerdna
Posts: 8206
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:03 am

^^^
Agree w/all of the above, but Nissan released a firmware update for the 30 kWh "lettuce packs". I haven't been following the discussion, but IMHO, it's too early to draw conclusions now about the 30 kWh packs with the update until we wait awhile, possibly another year or two, unless there's some data to show that with the update there still remain 4 bar losers post-update and that they've lost at least 30% of capacity and range autonomy.

We don't know when the switchover to the better pack happened. It might've happened somewhere in 3/2013 (or not at all), but we have no idea. 4/2013+ seems safer, by far.

10 bars sounds almost too good for a car of that vintage and locations. I live in the a hotter part of the Bay Area and my used 5/2013 built '13 Leaf was serviced by the previous driver in Santa Clara, CA. The OP's car might've even been reset or is real close to losing that 10th bar. Leaf Spy can help tell if it's the latter.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9365
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Do you think this Leaf will meet my needs

Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:24 am

...Nissan released a firmware update for the 30 kWh "lettuce packs". I haven't been following the discussion, but IMHO, it's too early to draw conclusions now about the 30 kWh packs with the update until we wait awhile, possibly another year or two, unless there's some data to show that with the update there still remain 4 bar losers post-update and that they've lost at least 30% of capacity and range autonomy.


From what I've been reading, the SOH readings (a rough measure of remaining capacity that appears related to internal resistance) have been improving after the update, but except for maybe one or two cases, the range hasn't followed suit. It looks to me more like smoke and mirrors designed to get more of the Lettuce packs through the warranty period, or at least to have them fall below the warranty replacement threshold later (and thus possibly get "refurbished" replacement packs instead of new ones) than a real improvement in usable capacity and range...
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.

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