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

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:57 am

I apologize for my earlier crass comment but you are thinking about taking on a SIX year loan for a used LEAF that is only good today for about 40 miles between charges in the winter ... and your wife is non-negotiable on a luxury item. This is so far beyond the pale of reasonable it is hard to be polite. Here is a basic truth for you: a loan should NEVER be anywhere close to the reasonable useful life of the car.

Is the 30 mile commute one way or total ?
Who will use each car ? Can you swap ?
What are the weekly driving requirements for the non-LEAF driver ?
Can the LEAF be charged at work ?
Have you read threads in this forum on the cost of repairs at a dealership ?
How competent is your local dealership fixing the LEAF ?
Presuming $2.40 a gallon fuel and 30 mpg, your current driving is 350 miles a week. How much of that would the LEAF do ? The LEAF fuel savings are only that proportion, minus the cost of electricity.

Do you understand battery capacity details ? I'll get you started
The 2014 LEAF came from the factory with a 24 kWh nominal capacity
About 2.5 kWh are not usable. This is set by the manufacturer to avoid battery damage at low SoC
Anticipate ~ 5% annual degradation. 5% of 24 kWh = 1.2 kWh capacity loss a year
Anticipate keeping *at least* 3 kWh of useable battery capacity in reserve for unexpected circumstances
Anticipate 400 wh/mile consumption in the winter

So today,
You start with 85% of (24-2.5) kWh TOTAL useable capacity = 18.275 kWh
Deduct your personal reserve of *at least* 3 kWh, leaving you with 15.275 kWh for routine driving between charges

Now you can make a table
Year ..... Routine Winter Range
1 ..... 15.275 kWh / 0.4 kWh/mile = 38 miles
2 ..... 14 kWh/0.4 kWh/mile = 35 miles
...
...

Don't be surprised if your wife wants 5 kWh of reserve for the unexpected. That is not unreasonable. Modify your table accordingly:
Year ..... Routine Winter Range
1 ..... 13.275 kWh / 0.4 kWh/mile = 33 miles
2 ..... 12 kWh/ 0.4 kWh/mile = 30 miles
...
...

If you are not following the arithmetic then let me leave you with this advice:
Wait until deep winter to wife - test the car
And remember the 1.2 kWh a year degradation you should anticipate

I estimate 2-3 years of useful life for this car if it must commute 30 miles in deep winter. At $9,000 that is between $250 and $375 a month to purchase. A $6,000 car like what Cwerdna is offering would be between $167 - $250 a month.
Last edited by SageBrush on Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

User avatar
jlv
Moderator
Posts: 1134
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 424487
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:12 am

SageBrush wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:57 am
Now you can make a table
This is an incredibly useful post for someone considering a used LEAF. I hope the OP releases the wealth of information that you've provided him here to help him with his decision.
LEAF '13 SL+Prem (mfg 12/13, leased 4/14, bought 5/17, sold 11/18) 34K mi, AHr 58, SOH 87%
Tesla S 75D (3/17)
Tesla X 100D (12/18)
85K 100% BEV miles since '14
ICE free since '18

IAMTHESTIG
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:12 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Nov 2019

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:14 am

SageBrush, thank you for the apology - I appreciate it. And may I say, thank you and bravo on your incredibly thorough and awesome response. Your math does make me consider some concerns... So let me answer some of your questions because I didn't provide a lot of info in my original post. Perhaps this will change the tide a little.

Is the 30 mile commute one way or total ?
Total, or round trip. This is our daily commute five times a week.

Who will use each car ? Can you swap ?
My wife and I commute together 95% of the time, but when we don't I'd drive the Leaf and she would drive our Mazda 3. And yes, we can swap no problem... in fact she likes the Leaf so she may want to take it and make me drive the ICE. My wife and I work at the same place (in different areas, thankfully) so we commute together 95% of the time. Occasionally, one of us will have an errand or appointment in the early morning, or late afternoon so we then take our own vehicles. Now, i've been driving my 1991 Ford F150 that gets 12-13 mpg on the rare occasions we have to take separate vehicles. We also have a two year old daughter and I can't get a car seat in my truck (it's a manual trans, can't shift). So we need another car that can have a baby seat. Furthermore we don't see our situation changing any time in the near future, as we have both been at our place of employment for over 10 years and will probably stay as we are comfortable.

What are the weekly driving requirements for the non-LEAF driver ?
Usually none. If she has to she has a 2012 Mazda 3 SkyActiv; that's what we are daily driving now and it costs us about $120 per month in gas.

Can the LEAF be charged at work ?
Maybe... technically yes as the parking lot lights have 120V outlets on them, but I work for state government and I wouldn't do it without asking. I haven't asked yet... i'm sure if I asked they would say yes. I just feel, odd, about it.

Have you read threads in this forum on the cost of repairs at a dealership ?
I've searched the troubleshooting section looking for issues. I usually do my own maintenance on vehicles (oil changes, serpentine belts, etc. and I've replaced two clutch's in my garage, replaced alternators, power steering pumps, etc.) so I have confidence in my abilities. I didn't see a lot of issues for the Leaf except some basic stuff and maybe a water pump or two. My main concern is the battery pack which i'm obviously not going to replace myself (or, could I?) and I see they are about $8500 right now, assuming Nissan can even get one. That is concerning in itself but I figure if the car will last 100K miles it will have saved us money and served its purpose.

How competent is your local dealership fixing the LEAF ?
Not really sure... I'm told at a local Nissan dealership they have one "Leaf" mechanic, and he is the only one allowed to work on the cars - and that he's done battery replacements and other repairs. Though they could have just been telling me that to try and make a sale as we test drove a 2016 S. There is another Nissan dealership I like but I haven't talked to them about working on a Leaf. I did call them asking for a price estimate on battery replacement and they told me $12K... bah.

Presuming $2.40 a gallon fuel and 30 mpg, your current driving is 350 miles a week. How much of that would the LEAF do ? The LEAF fuel savings are only that proportion, minus the cost of electricity.
Gas is about $3/gal here right now, we tend to have higher prices compared to the rest of the nation. We drive about 170-190 miles a week. The Leaf fits the bill for 95% or more of our driving needs. Our region is using hydroelectric so our electricity is pretty cheap... $0.07 per kWh is pretty typical and up to $0.12 per kWh in the summer. I've estimated our electricity bill to go up by about $25-30 a month compared to $1,500 or so on gas.

Do you understand battery capacity details ?
That's why i'm here... i'm learning as much as I can about this. Here's my thoughts based on what i've learned so far.

So both yesterday and today's drive to/from work (I did a complete trip today, dropped my wife off at work as I took the day off for other stuff) the car showed 3.5 kW per mile. That was with low air pressure on front tires (and I just saw front tires are not "eco" tires, they are standard all seasons; rears are eco tires though) and liberal use of the heater, and seat heaters. Plus I do drive a little quick and occasionally do full power to get into traffic. Both days the Leaf consumed right about 50% of the battery's charge.

Assuming we will be using the heat full time in the coldest part of winter, i'm guessing we may use around 70-75% of the battery. If I think we will be cutting it that close I may charge the battery to 85% or even 90%. When we got home last night at our usual time I plugged it in and when I checked it this morning it was at 98% (according to the instrument cluster) so I know the 120V can do it. But I plan to install a 240V / 40A or 50A power in my garage and if this is possible, trickle charge the Leaf up in the evening early morning to 60-70% then when I wake up, (or schedule it possibly) an hour before leaving the house, jump to L2 charging and bump it up to 85 or 90% charge at the last minute. It wouldn't be sitting at this charge level more than an hour and i'm hoping that would help longevity.

This is a nice advantage over ICE vehicles as I don't drive them that hard when the oil is cold - i'll let everything warm up to operating temperature before going full throttle. Regardless of my driving style I still get 30-32 mpg in our Mazda 3 because I know how to drive efficiently and do, most of the time.

Your math is interesting though i'm not sure if it would match my usage. I'm assuming some of this is based off of my Leaf Spy data... But, what is your definition of "deep winter"? We are in a pretty mild climate area as our winters very rarely dip down into the single digits, and we get maybe 15-20 days of 100 degrees plus in the summer. If I were to use the term deep winter I feel our average temp through the late morning and early day is 27 F and in the hottest part of summer averaging morning temp and afternoon I'd say about 93 F. I intend to keep the Leaf at home in the garage and take the Mazda on days where I know it will be near the 100's.

With all this in mind, do you still think the car will only make it two years or so before it can no longer meet our needs?

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

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:36 am

You probably mean 3.5 miles per kWh

Yes, I still think the car will only last 2-3 years as a four season, all time commuter.
However ... if you plan to hold on to the Mazda (or the truck, for that matter) and the two of you are willing to accept that some days the LEAF will have to stay at home then you have some much needed flexibility to cover those days when the LEAF is not up to the task.

But for SIX years ? I'm skeptical. Maybe four.
Allow me to be a broken record: check out Cwerdna's LEAF for sale. You should be able to PM him without finding a specific post.

Here is the bottom line: as a money saving device I don't think you are on the right track. If you want an EV (and I am as enthusiastic as they come) then be ready for some compromises. And make sure your wife is on the same page. I'm curious whether your Mazda has leather seats. If not then I'd be inclined to take her demand as a hint that she is not EV engaged.
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
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:03 pm

You probably mean 3.5 miles per kWh

Yes, I still think the car will only last 2-3 years as a four season, all time commuter.
However ... if you plan to hold on to the Mazda (or the truck, for that matter) and the two of you are willing to accept that some days the LEAF will have to stay at home then you have some much needed flexibility to cover those days when the LEAF is not up to the task.

But for SIX years ? I'm skeptical. Maybe four.
Allow me to be a broken record: check out Cwerdna's LEAF for sale. You should be able to PM him without finding a specific post.

Here is the bottom line: as a money saving device I don't think you are on the right track. If you want an EV (and I am as enthusiastic as they come) then be ready for some compromises. And make sure your wife is on the same page. I'm curious whether your Mazda has leather seats. If not then I'd be inclined to take her demand as a hint that she is not EV engaged.

I think a 30 kWh battery LEAF with an 8yr/100k mile battery degradation warranty would garner the MNL seal of approval for your situation. Even $10k would be OK value.
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
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

IAMTHESTIG
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:12 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Nov 2019

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:32 pm

Thanks for the fast response... Yes my mistake, 3.5 miles per kWh.

That's a shame. I guess I just don't feel it is that close, but you guys are the experts. I was under the impression that the 2014-2015 with 24 kWh packs are the 'slowest' degradation-wise.

Since this is an 11 bar Leaf I am not willing to pay over $10K for it. I realize you all discuss much lower prices but private party prices are not the same as dealership pricing - they are in the business to make money and I am fine with that as long as they aren't gouging. I've been watching Leaf's on sale 500 miles within my area on autotrader the last couple weeks and there have been 2-3 similar ones go on sale with asking prices of $9.5K to $11K and they are all gone now so I'm assuming they sold quick. These were all PNW, 2014-15 Leaf's in SL trim with 12 bars and less than 30K miles.

Anyway, I do think we would continue to drive the Mazda on days where we have to go 5-10 miles more than our typical commute, which would probably end up being 10-15 days out of a year I estimate. Then maybe 20 or so summer days where it will be near or over 100 F. I'd like to drive the Leaf the rest of the time.

It appears to me a majority of these cars lose their first bar around 30K miles. So if I try to hold out for a 12 bar Leaf with say, 20K miles... that's only going to possibly buy me another year or two of driving it for our daily commute? Earlier in this discussion it was suggested to get a 12 bar Leaf and that it should last me up to 100K miles. Am I missing something here as I don't see how there could be such a big difference with this Leaf I am testing now? Unless its battery health is really that poor?

As for our Mazda my wife would like a bigger vehicle for the future so she intends to get a Subaru Forester or something ('15 or newer with CVT) in the next couple years. Our Mazda does NOT have leather seats and that has always been a complaint but she wanted a reliable car and that's what I recommended seven years ago - and it has. I've only spent $350 in repairs... I anticipate a little more over the next 65K if we decide to keep it.

Anyway, I do like your idea of a 2016+ Leaf but i'm not seeing those in the price range you are suggesting, they are for $13-16K asking price and nearly all the ones i've looked at have 1-2 missing bars. I can afford this price range but didn't really want to have to arrange transport of the vehicle.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13248
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:41 pm

An explanation of Winter range: your car has a heat pump and a resistance heater. The heat pump uses little power, relatively, but it gets less and less powerful as temps drop. Below 32F it is still working, but the resistance heater is doing much of the work. Below about 25F the resistance heater is providing most of the heat, and below about 15F the contribution from the heat pump, while still there (it stops working at about 7F), is not noticeable, and the range is about the same as a non heat pump equipped 2013+ Leaf S. There is also increased rolling resistance from the tires, and the battery works less well at converting chemical energy to electrical energy. AT highway speed the cold air is also more dense, adding to the aerodynamic drag on the car. These all add up to an additional drain on the battery that can reach - or even exceed - 50%. If your Winter temps drop no lower than 20F, you will still lose a LOT of range then.
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.

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

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:35 pm

IAMTHESTIG wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:32 pm
Earlier in this discussion it was suggested to get a 12 bar Leaf and that it should last me up to 100K miles. Am I missing something here as I don't see how there could be such a big difference with this Leaf I am testing now?
You are right -- the difference is likely small because the car you are testing has most of the 11th bar and you can expect that a 3 year old car with 12 bars has used up most of that 12th bar.

Your choices will improve a lot if you give up on the idea of buying from a dealership. Apply that $2-3k towards getting a 30 kWh LEAF. I bought my car from North California and shipped it to NM for $600.

---
By the way, $3 a gallon petrol at 30 mpg is 10 cents a mile. ($120 a month)/($0.1/mile) = 1200 miles a month = 277 miles a week.

One other thing to consider: are you getting rid of a vehicle you currently have if you buy a LEAF ? If not then you may want to figure out how much of your savings is spent on extra insurance.

---
It would help if you explained your motivation (that being the plural you -- you and your wife) to buy a LEAF:
Love EVs ?
Is it just a thought of saving money ?
Environmentalism ?
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
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

IAMTHESTIG
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:12 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Nov 2019

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:57 pm

Thanks for the responses... good thoughts. My wife and I are going to think about it and come up with a decision.

As for our reasoning, since we have to get something anyway it's mostly about saving some money. Secondary is I like the tech and she really likes the smoothness of how EV's drive. We tested a Mercedes B250 electric as well but it did some weird stuff with the braking she didn't like - resulted in jerky deceleration near stops. The Leaf doesn't do that. A shame really, cause the merc has a Tesla motor and battery, both thermally managed of course.

I'll post back with our decision in a few days while we mull. I'm leaning toward buying it if I can get it for less than $9K with the understanding we may be taking the gas car for several weeks of the winter and several weeks in the summer. Even still it will save some monies. If we drive it less and keep the battery around 50% while stored i'd expect it will last us longer.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13248
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Should I do it? '14 SL w/36K for $11.5K?

Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:01 pm

Here is a link, just for the sake of choice, to the Saga of Cwerdna Selling His Leaf:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=28048
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.

Return to “General / Main Owners Forum”