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Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:36 am
by golfcart
I accidentally hijacked that "We can match bolt" thread with a discussion about cost vs range and the practicality of long range BEVs. So I thought I'd start a new one and pose the following questions (not sure how to do polls on this forum). Going off the assumption that 100 miles of range costs about $5k, and you could get a base model with 100 mile range for $27.5k ($20k after incentives), which version of the Leaf 2 would you purchase?

a) 30kwh pack, 100 mile range, $27.5k before incentives.
b) 60kwh pack, 200 mile range, $32.5k before incentives.
c) 90kwh pack, 300 mile range, $37.5k before incentives.

Please don't let the thread degrade into an argument about my price assumptions or whether you'd trust Nissan again... I'm just trying to have a discussion about what range is worth to people in dollars.

I'd personally take the 100 mile range for $27.5k. But I'm cheap and my wife has a ICE pickup we can use on long trips. LOL.

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 am
by jjeff
I would take option b for sure, I'd think seriously about c but would probably end up with b for cost vs benefit. Knowing that 200 miles is really closer to 100 in the cold MN winter or after the battery starts to age. It would be nice to have 200 miles for the summer, I'd have to hardly ever drive my ICE if I could get 200 miles on battery.
Note I don't believe batteries are down to $5k/30kwh yet but hopefully some day :)

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:40 am
by BrockWI
Option C, because I know it will work in winter for us and can run the heat without worrying and if we loose 50% of the battery it is still a viable mode of transportation for us and we can keep using it without having to replace the entire pack.

The way I see it if over say 10 years we had to spend an additional $5k to replace the battery, why not spend that up front with a larger pack and in 10 years we have the same range (or more) than if we had replaced the battery starting with the smaller pack. Not to mention all those 100+ mile trips that wouldn't be an option even with a smaller pack and had to take the ice. A 200+ mile vehicle could replace our highway ice and we would be back to a 2 vehicle family.

Then again our "new" other car is a VW TDI 2003 wagon with 160k and an 2002 sienna van with 180k, so we tend to keep vehicles until they are done.

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:11 am
by jjeff
BrockWI wrote:Option C, because I know it will work in winter for us and can run the heat without worrying and if we loose 50% of the battery it is still a viable mode of transportation for us and we can keep using it without having to replace the entire pack.....
Not to get too OT but I see from your sig that you also have a '13 w/QC, does our Leaf have the more efficient heat pump? I've read conflicting opinions, whats a easy way to know if mine does?
I understand your opinion about oversizing the battery at first to take into account of future degradation but in my case I can get by with my 24kwh battery the vast majority of the time so bumping up to even 60kwh would be a vast improvement, even with degradation I'm not sure carrying around an extra 30kwh all the time would be worth it, at least in my case.

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:23 am
by BrockWI
My 13 S has the resistance heater, I believe the SV & SL have the heat pump. Although honestly I usually don't run the heat until is 10F anyway and I believe at that temp and below your using resistance heat even with the heat pump option. But I am sure my wife would like it when it's 30F outside.

Yes carrying the extra weight around would likely reduce miles / kwh but the other things is less "demand" on the bank would hopefully be better for it as well. With my history with lead acid if you have a 100ah battery and pull 100 amps for one hour it will be more wear on the battery compared to a 400 ah battery pulling that same 100 amps. I understand it isn't as critical or the same for Li batteries but even from a battery warming stand point pulling the same amps from a pack 3 times the size has to have lower internal resistance and thus heating of the pack, the same thing on the charging side.

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:27 am
by inphoenix
I'd take option B. My current commute does not leave much room for any major "detours". I usually come back with a LBW so having the extra range would help and I'd pay extra for that. Not sure about option C. I don't see a need for it at this time. If the price difference between B and C were lesser, I might think about C.

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:11 am
by lpickup
I used to be of the mindset that I would get a smaller battery because I don't need anything larger 95% of the time, and can rent if I do.

My mindset is changing though, and at the price points you mention, I would definitely go with the 90kWh pack, although I really think that price point is not realistic for another 3-4 years, but even so, I would probably pay $45K for a 90kWh pack, under the right set of circumstances. Here's my thought process:

Maybe it's my early LEAF, but between battery degradation and poor performance in winter (and I'm talking about North Carolina here, not Minnesota or northern New England), it's definitely a struggle for me in the winter. If I didn't have charging at work, I'd basically be screwed at this point 4 years in. My wife's 2013 seemed more resilient in the winter, but I just think I'd want the additional buffer so I can have confidence the car will be useful in 8-10 years. So I'm already up to the 60kWh pack at a bare minimum.

Second consideration: we would like to take "regional" trips (defined as 200 mile each way) a few times a year. I'd like to be able to do this with one QC stop, and "a few times" is defined as "enough that renting a car for each of these trips would be a hassle/barrier to taking the trip". The 60kWh pack would probably be sufficient to meet this need when the car is new, but I'm unsure about winter when the car is 5+ years old, and given that these are mostly highway miles. It's starting to stretch into the 90kWh pack.

Third consideration: we take an annual trip that's about 750 miles each way. Renting is an option here, but would still be nice to not have to do this. For this option, I really feel that you need a 350 mile range EV, the argument being that at 80% per quick charge, you're basically talking about 280 miles per QC, or about 4 hours of driving. Given that we try to make this trip in one (albeit long) day, this is really the minimum range we'd need to make doing this trip realistic. Spacing the stops out and assuming starting with a 100% charge and 80% after each stop, this trip is fairly comfortable with 2 stops in a 350 mile EV (stops at around miles 290, 520 and 750). Could we do it in the 300 mile EV? Technically yes (miles 290, 520 and 750), but this only leaves about 10 miles of buffer to account for highway speeds, cold weather, battery degradation and non-ideal charging station spacing). But adding a third stop would not be the end of the world for this trip. Certainly we'd be stopping for a rest room break anyway, so working in a slightly extended stop as a third stop would probably work fine. A 250 mile EV would probably not work for this trip though, and certainly not a 200 mile EV like the BoltEV.

The caveat here is that there would have to be charging stations more or less ideally spaced along the route. Most of this route is on I-81, and between Harrisburg, PA and Watertown, NY, there doesn't appear to be a single CHAdeMO station. Tesla Superchargers exist in Binghamton, NY and Syracuse, NY at least, but nothing in PA on I-81. Hagerstown, MD to Binghamton, NY is 254 miles (cutting it pretty close!) Of course I expect this to change between now and the time that these vehicles come to market, but that will be a consideration. There is no point in going to the 90kWh car for me unless there is sufficient charging along this particular route. A Tesla Model 3, assuming compatibility with CHAdeMO through an adapter, would meet this need today. Hopefully Nissan is working with Tesla on Supercharger access for the LEAF 2.

The final consideration is this: I certainly would not need 2 vehicles sized like this. One for the family is sufficient, the other one can be a 100 mile class vehicle. However, if V2G ever takes off, and at the right price point, I can see the benefit of having a larger battery than you need on a daily basis. I would love to be able to contribute the 50% or so of my battery I am not using to leveling renewable resources. This line of thinking is probably the exception--most people would only be concerned with their bottom line cost.

Re: Cost Vs Range for Leaf 2

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:01 am
by aarond12
200 miles range is plenty for me, so "B". It would be nice to have "C", but $5K more is a bit much. I would still think about it though, especially if this is a replacement for the wife's car. (She forgets to plug in my car when she uses it. The extra range could make up for forgetfulness.)

My LEAF won't make the round trip to/from the airport. Having that little extra bit would prevent me from ever driving the gas-powered car.