Sherpa
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 9:45 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2019
Location: Lehi, UT

new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:13 pm

Greetings everyone!

Purely from a point of technological fascination, I have occasionally entertained the idea of buying an electric car. While I did not want to spend $30k+ for a new one (nor do I want to lease one), I told myself I might be interested in a used one if the price were right. But that's as far as I ever went with the idea.

For the last thirteen months, I've driven my '97 Metro 1.0L/5-speed as a cheap commuter. While I have seen two tanks which averaged 53 mpg, I usually got about 45 mpg in my typical driving. Back when gas had dropped near $2.00/gallon--the lowest it has been throughout my Metro ownership--a dollar of fuel would take me about 22-23 miles. Now that gasoline has once again topped $3.00/gallon, today that same dollar only takes me 15 miles at best.

Almost a month ago, the idea of EV ownership again came to mind. How much would one of those cost to drive? I pulled out a recent utility bill to check my cost per kWh. From what I saw online, Leaf drivers commonly see 4 miles/kWh during average driving in non-winter months; during the dead of winter, efficiency can drop to around 3 miles/kWh. This means one dollar of electricity from my wall outlet could take me over 45 miles in a Leaf during three seasons of the year, and around 34 miles in the dead of winter (assuming no energy loss from charging). Even if I factor in a gross 15% loss in charging efficiency--which is larger than real-world examples I found--the Leaf is still WAY more efficient than the Metro was even at $2/gallon... and that's not even factoring in the additional ICE maintenance costs for things like oil, etc. Wow. Suddenly, I was seriously considering buying an EV.

After hours and hours of research, I decided a 2013-2016 Nissan Leaf would be ideal for me. Local online ads showed prices starting around $7000, which seemed pretty darn reasonable. With that, the Metro was put up for sale. After it sold a couple weeks later, I went into full-tilt Leaf shopping mode. I was going to dealers and looking at private party ones, getting a feel for what was out there and what I wanted, when fate intervened--last week this red 2013 SV was traded in at my store (I sell cars at a large autoplex):

Image

This was exactly my desired trim level, so it had B-mode and the heat pump for best range. It also had the upgrade package I wanted (ie, LED headlights) for even more efficient operation. Red is definitely not my favorite color, and I wasn't thrilled by the light interior, but beggars can't be choosers (and, besides, the interior was in fantastic shape). The dash gauge showed 11 bars; a LeafSpy scan showed 80% SOH. And finally, I would be able to get it for a very, very good price. I took all this as a sign that it was meant to be... and I bought it.

Thus began my life as an electric vehicle owner. :) So far, I've been averaging about 5.0 miles/kWh... which is fantastic. I love this car.
Dempsey Bowling
My fleet: '91 Miata, '98 Wrangler 4.0L, '01 Suburban 8.1L, '80 Grand Prix 454, '86 Shelby GLHS #75, '13 Leaf SV

flydiver
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:14 am
Delivery Date: 20 Mar 2018
Leaf Number: 337789
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:07 pm

Welcome. Good looking Leaf.
It appears you did your homework. I did too, I thought. Then I got one, and my real education began, and continues. Maybe it's just me but I have to have the physical object 'in hand' and work with it before I really understand it. EV is definitely a different world than ICE. Gotta say, I really like it.
2014 SL

jjeff
Posts: 1852
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:49 am

Yes it sounds like you really did your homework, of all the older Leafs I'd say the '13 SV that had QC, backup camera and 6.6kw charger would be my favorite. One thing and a very important thing for the '13 model year Leafs you didn't mention is, what was the mfg. date? For the newer and better battery chemistry, you need a post-March model, thats actually more important than most anything else on a '13 model year Leaf.
Interesting your Cayenne Red has a light interior, is it a smooth velour type of cloth? My '13S has a nice black interior and the seats are a nice stretchy black and easy to clean, my '12SL has a light tan interior smooth velour cloth and I hate it, shows EVERYTHING :x
BTW I also had a Geo Metro with the 1.0 3 cyl, back in '94. 5-speed stick and I regularly got in the upper 40s for MPG, 50+ hwy only, even mid 30s in town in our sub-zero winters, it was a great car! Unfortunately it had to be scrapped with only 80k on the clock, ran like new but the damn frame up where the front wheels attached rusted out and was unrepairable :( real real shame to scrap out that car that looked and ran like new and got 50+ MPG on trips, while probably unsafe by todays standard, it was an engineering marvel of it's time, all for around $8k($13.9k adjusted for inflation) at the time! My only option was A/C which still worked and an aftermarket trailer hitch I had installed which I used many times to tow a small utility trailer loaded with building materials.
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

Sherpa
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 9:45 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2019
Location: Lehi, UT

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:17 pm

jjeff wrote:what was the mfg. date?


Mine was built in January 2013. While this is before the battery changeover, the fact that I'm at 80% SOH with 54k miles showing leads me to believe this car will suit me fine for the 1 or 2 years I plan to own it.

jjeff wrote:is it a smooth velour type of cloth?


It seems to be. I really, really wanted the dark fabric interior... but I'm living with it.
Dempsey Bowling
My fleet: '91 Miata, '98 Wrangler 4.0L, '01 Suburban 8.1L, '80 Grand Prix 454, '86 Shelby GLHS #75, '13 Leaf SV

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 11963
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:37 pm

I generally ask people to put these posts in the 'Just Got My Leaf' topic, but this one - a Canary pack with (barely) 11 bars after all these years, in a cool climate - may prove interesting.
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.

SageBrush
Posts: 4027
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:14 pm

OP, where do you park 6 cars, and how much car insurance do you pay ?

My household has two cars and when the LEAF dies I look forward to owning one.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

SageBrush
Posts: 4027
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:31 pm

jjeff wrote:BTW I also had a Geo Metro with the 1.0 3 cyl, back in '94. 5-speed stick and I regularly got in the upper 40s for MPG, 50+ hwy only, even mid 30s in town in our sub-zero winters, it was a great car! Unfortunately it had to be scrapped with only 80k on the clock, ran like new but the damn frame up where the front wheels attached rusted out and was unrepairable :( real real shame to scrap out that car that looked and ran like new and got 50+ MPG on trips, while probably unsafe by todays standard, it was an engineering marvel of it's time, all for around $8k($13.9k adjusted for inflation) at the time! My only option was A/C which still worked and an aftermarket trailer hitch I had installed which I used many times to tow a small utility trailer loaded with building materials.

I came *very* close to buying a Geo Metro in 1990. I was enamored by the fuel economy and as a card carrying car hater the Metro fit the bill as the penultimate no frills A to B transport when a bicycle could not be used, perfect for a poor, frugal and cheap consumer. The dealer started at somewhere around $8k and eventually came down to $6,300 but I was not willing to budge from $6,000.

I have spent over $10k four time on cars for myself: three times for hybrids, and recently for my Tesla. I hope my car buying days are behind me.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

Titanium48
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:33 am
Delivery Date: 25 Jan 2019
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:31 pm

jjeff wrote:BTW I also had a Geo Metro with the 1.0 3 cyl, back in '94. 5-speed stick and I regularly got in the upper 40s for MPG, 50+ hwy only, even mid 30s in town in our sub-zero winters, it was a great car! Unfortunately it had to be scrapped with only 80k on the clock, ran like new but the damn frame up where the front wheels attached rusted out and was unrepairable :( real real shame to scrap out that car that looked and ran like new and got 50+ MPG on trips, while probably unsafe by todays standard, it was an engineering marvel of it's time, all for around $8k($13.9k adjusted for inflation) at the time! My only option was A/C which still worked and an aftermarket trailer hitch I had installed which I used many times to tow a small utility trailer loaded with building materials.


I had a 1994 Metro, except it didn't have AC. Great fun on twisty highways. A little too much fun actually - I lost traction going too fast into a reverse-banked curve and continued straight into a forest. My wife and I walked away after a little pinball with the trees though, so I wouldn't say they were unsafe.

Sherpa
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 9:45 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2019
Location: Lehi, UT

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:19 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:I generally ask people to put these posts in the 'Just Got My Leaf' topic, but this one - a Canary pack with (barely) 11 bars after all these years, in a cool climate - may prove interesting.


Oh, um... sorry? Most forums ask you to introduce yourself in the newbies sub-forum. I apologize if I accidentally broke the local protocol.

SageBrush wrote:OP, where do you park 6 cars, and how much car insurance do you pay ?


:lol: I have what doctors call a car problem. Besides the six I list in my signature, I have one more project car plus three other parts cars. Five of those listed in my sig reside at my house--two in the garage, two on the RV pad, and one in the driveway. The last one--the Miata, which is in the middle of a V8 conversion and currently engineless--sits in a friend's shop on a vehicle lift. Three others--a '66 Mustang, an '02 Tahoe, and a '99 Metro parts car--are all sitting in a friend's back yard. The final one--a '99 GMC Express parts van--sits in the parking lot at the shop where my Miata resides.

The six listed in my sig cost me about $1500 annually to insure.
Dempsey Bowling
My fleet: '91 Miata, '98 Wrangler 4.0L, '01 Suburban 8.1L, '80 Grand Prix 454, '86 Shelby GLHS #75, '13 Leaf SV

SageBrush
Posts: 4027
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: new owner of a used Leaf in Utah

Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:26 am

Quite a story.
If you are lucky your car hobby will take a slight detour to electric and you will be able to make some room. For a while, anyway :D
Last edited by SageBrush on Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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