SVTEXPY
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 11:17 am
Location: Bothell, WA

Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 11:33 am

Hello, I am interested in buying a Leaf as a commuter vehicle. I would like to stay around the $6,000 mark to spend. Looking on line, it appears I may be able to find a 2011 or 2012 for about that amount.

What are the things I should look for when buying? This is strictly a commuter car. Probably looking at the S model, don't need NAV but would like Bluetooth phone and audio, heated seats are nice, don't need a heated steering wheel, backup camera is nice but not needed.

Batteries seems to be the big issue with any of these electric vehicles. Aside from finding out the current capacity of the battery, are there ways to determine how long they will last?

How do these batteries degrade? Linearly or exponentially?

Are the batteries degradation based on cycles or time?

Can you replace just a single cell or do you have to replace the entire battery pack at one time? If so, how expensive is it to replace the entire battery?

Anything else I should look at?

Does anyone here on this forum have one for sale in or around the Seattle area?

Thanks.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13300
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 11:40 am

This is what you need to know. Please read it first. Spoiler alert: a 2011-2012 Leaf isn't a good idea unless the battery has already been replaced.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 2&p=538030
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

SVTEXPY
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 11:17 am
Location: Bothell, WA

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 11:58 am

I should add how I will use this vehicle.

My commute is 13 miles each way to and from my house to work. So a total commute of 26 miles. Plus some after work errands. Now, most people would say why do you need a commuter car if you are only going 130 - 175 miles per week for work and errands. My current daily driver is a Ford Expedition with a built crate motor pushing 425hp and only runs on super unleaded fuel.

My work has 8 charging stations for EVs so my plan is to charge at work everyday and trickle charge at home on weekends. So maybe I could get by with a Leaf with a degraded, lower capacity battery.

User avatar
Sondy132001
Gold Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:38 pm
Delivery Date: 02 Mar 2015
Leaf Number: 016225
Location: Mission Viejo, CA

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 12:10 pm

This is where I am at and trust me it won't work, unless your drive is completely flat to and from work. If there's traffic I will make it to work with enough power to get home, if no traffic ?? I'll have to charge at work because I used up way more power driving faster and I have smaller hills to and from work.
SVTEXPY wrote:I should add how I will use this vehicle.

My commute is 13 miles each way to and from my house to work. So a total commute of 26 miles. Plus some after work errands. Now, most people would say why do you need a commuter car if you are only going 130 - 175 miles per week for work and errands. My current daily driver is a Ford Expedition with a built crate motor pushing 425hp and only runs on super unleaded fuel.

My work has 8 charging stations for EVs so my plan is to charge at work everyday and trickle charge at home on weekends. So maybe I could get by with a Leaf with a degraded, lower capacity battery.
2012 Nissan Leaf SL with QC 23,362 miles as of 3/5/15 Cayenne Red Mission Viejo, CA

Lost my 4th bar @ 49,474 miles 11-19-17

cwerdna
Posts: 9762
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 1:20 pm

SVTEXPY wrote:Hello, I am interested in buying a Leaf as a commuter vehicle. I would like to stay around the $6,000 mark to spend. Looking on line, it appears I may be able to find a 2011 or 2012 for about that amount.

What are the things I should look for when buying? This is strictly a commuter car. Probably looking at the S model, don't need NAV but would like Bluetooth phone and audio, heated seats are nice, don't need a heated steering wheel, backup camera is nice but not needed.
There's no such thing as an S trim '11 or '12. That was new with model year '13. For the first few years of S trim (at least '13 and '14), the S trim's stereo only supported Bluetooth for phone calls but NOT A2DP music streaming. SV and SL stereos of all years at least '11 to '17 have always supported both.

I've posted about a disturbing trend re: '11 and '12s I've seen recently...
http://mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 12#p554947
http://mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=556865#p556865

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 of that driving is city vs. highway?
SVTEXPY wrote: Are the batteries degradation based on cycles or time?

Can you replace just a single cell or do you have to replace the entire battery pack at one time? If so, how expensive is it to replace the entire battery?
On the former, it's more on time but high temperatures (hot climates) make it worse. And, some chemistries are worse than others w/the pre-4/2013 built Leafs being amongst the worst.

On the latter, unless there's a defective cell/module, all the modules age pretty evenly. Barring defective cell/module, replacing only a single or a few modules will do no little to no good.

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

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

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

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 2:56 pm

Please, read the buying guide I linked above. You can skip the section on 30kwh Leafs, but read the rest of it. It will help you. My short answer is you want to look for a later build (after March) 2013 that is down two capacity bars. Low retail value, more features, better battery and heater.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Calaveras
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:41 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Gold country California

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 6:45 pm

This person seems like an ideal older leaf owner. Short commute plus can charge at work. I would get one where you could do the round trip on a charge. I may be in a position eventually where I have to charge at work to get home. (50 mile round trip and lots of elevation.

If you can get it cheap and use it for a daily commute car you will save enough money to buy another in a few years.
2016 Leaf S bought used in 2017
2017 Soul EV bought in 2019 for spouse.
Daily commute is 55 miles round trip with a 1,900 foot elevation climb on the way home. Gold Country California

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13300
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Fri May 31, 2019 7:32 pm

I would get one where you could do the round trip on a charge.
The understatement of the day. ;) The problems with a first generation Leaf (2011-2012, plus the first 3 build months of 2013 for the pack) are that not only will it be down several bars, it will continue to lose bars quickly unless driven in a chilly climate. Washington only meets that last qualification in some areas. Here's a handy little mnemonic: "If the Summers get hot, get a Canary pack NOT." Further, the first gen Leafs have a terrible, power sucking heater that runs even when it isn't needed or wanted, and just using defrost in cool weather will drain the battery.

Or, to put it more succinctly: Read the buying guide.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

flydiver
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:14 am
Delivery Date: 20 Mar 2018
Leaf Number: 337789
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:28 am

As suggested - Read the Buying Guide! :!: :!:

For an EV the battery is critical! Features are nice, but not worth a damn if the vehicle doesn't meet the primary goal of getting you around as you require. You don't want a 6 bar battery or a pre-13 model. Unfortunately the Leaf is kind of a 'disposable' car because replacing the battery is so damn expensive. :cry:

$6K is a tight budget. OTOH, that Expedition sounds like it goes through that much gas in a year. :shock:
I spent 2 months in this forum, and watching Craigslist to get the SL Leaf I wanted; 4 years old, 12 bars (92%), 13K miles, always garaged, for about 1/3 of the original price. :D

You will want to get an OBDII and Leafspy to validate any battery.
I'm just south of you near Sandpoint. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk.
2014 SL; Seattle, WA

SageBrush
Posts: 4907
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: NM

Re: Looking to buy a Leaf - around $6K

Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:59 am

flydiver wrote: $6K is a tight budget. OTOH, that Expedition sounds like it goes through that much gas in a year. :shock:
I estimate 25 cents a mile. It reminded me of a cartoon I saw a few years ago of quarter coins dripping out of a tailpipe.

If OP's motivation to buy a LEAF is mostly (or only) money, even a monstrosity like his Ford can drive 24,000 miles on $6,0000.
Spending $8,000 to get a healthier battery and a couple extra years use from the car is a better value.

OP also has to consider whether he is dumping the Ford. Owning two cars rather than one has its own non-trivial expenses due to a annual fees/taxes and insurance. And by the way, WA annual fees are $150 more a year for an EV
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/2018: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
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2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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