Peace
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jun 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some info

Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:24 pm

Hello everyone -

this is Peace here from MN, I've stumbled upon this forum as i was researching the Nissan Leaf so have been reading up on some stuff. Hubby and I are planning on getting an SL but I'd like to verify my limited understanding and hope one of you more experienced owners/leasees can confirm. We fit the profile of owner versus leasee (buy vs own the Leaf had me stumped for a while as the lease deals seem so good right now doubled with the unknown factor regarding what happens to these generation leafs batteries 5-7 years from now) - we've always bought new cars and then drive them until the wheels fall off (and i hate having car payments forever). what i'm wondering about is:

1) If i were to buy a 2014 S trim and add the Charge Package, will this car have the capacity/capability of an SL? granted I won't get the leather seats and all the bells and whistles of the navigation system, alloy wheels… (i don't really care about the navigation system - i have a mobile Garmin that i can use) and all the other bells and whistles, except the leather seats - kind of like them, but I can live w/o if this means several thousand dollars less. What i do care more about is the ability to do quick charge (say 5 years from now, there's a quick charge at every corner of the street so I'll plan well for my future Leaf S so I'll be equipped - i know i'm dreaming!) But, i think someone said that the SV and SL also have better heating/cooling capacity as well - so i'll miss out on more than the leather seats, in getting just he S model even with QC? i do care much more about functions and capability, as you can tell :)

2) I read here that with '14 models, it's "programmed in" that you have to charge up to 100%, no choice, and I understand that you're supposed to NOT charge to full all the time, to preserve our precious batteries. So does this mean that if i want to do the right thing for batteries, i should probably pick the '13 over the '14? or, is there hidden meaning or message that i missed?

3) in your experience, should i wait until Dec of this year to get the '14 for even better deals than the current incentive since the rule is that's the best month to buy, as dealerships want to get rid of all current year models at year end? We're in the position to wait but i just get impatient due to seeing the $3,500 cash rebate being offer for new leaf owners from Nissan. BTW, I think it's either $3,500 rebate or 0% financing with Nissan, not both, correct?

4) it doesn't seem like the '13 is much cheaper than '14? do you know why?

I really do appreciate all your input. I've already learned a lot from "lurking" around prior to joining :)
thanks so much!
Peace
potential '14 or '13 Leaf SL (I hope - though there are so few SLs within my 250 miles radius. I checked several websites and only yielded 1 or 2 SLs!)

cgaydos
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:36 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Leaf Number: 009493025635
Location: Monument, Colorado

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:36 pm

Peace wrote:1) If i were to buy a 2014 S trim and add the Charge Package, will this car have the capacity/capability of an SL?
Technically yes, as the battery et al is the same. But in practical terms, no, especially for Minnesota! The biggest enemy of LEAF range is cold, and the more extreme the worse the effect. The SV and SL have the more efficient heat pump so on those really cold days you'll get better range. Definitely worth it. The charge package is also worth it - even if you don't use the QC as much you'll find that the car is more useful with the faster level 2 charger than without the QC package.
Peace wrote:2) I read here that with '14 models, it's "programmed in" that you have to charge up to 100%, no choice, and I understand that you're supposed to NOT charge to full all the time, to preserve our precious batteries. So does this mean that if i want to do the right thing for batteries, i should probably pick the '13 over the '14? or, is there hidden meaning or message that i missed?
I really wish we'd get some clear guidance on this from Nissan, because as it is none of us can say for sure. Personally, if I were buying a 2013/2014 and I had no intent to sell it later, as you said you are, I'd get the 2013 for that reason (but I'd also get a 2013 model that has the all around view monitor, or at least the rear view monitor - that was standard in 2011 and 2012 and is again in 2014, but not for all models in 2013). However, it may be true that in the 2014 there really isn't any measurable benefit to the old 80% charge practice. We just don't know for sure.
Peace wrote:3) in your experience, should i wait until Dec of this year to get the '14 for even better deals than the current incentive since the rule is that's the best month to buy, as dealerships want to get rid of all current year models at year end? We're in the position to wait but i just get impatient due to seeing the $3,500 cash rebate being offer for new leaf owners from Nissan. BTW, I think it's either $3,500 rebate or 0% financing with Nissan, not both, correct?
Really hard to say - every year the patterns have been different. Two things to consider though. First, end of year in the US tends to have lots of EV sales because you don't get the federal tax credit back until you file your tax return next year. So demand can be high in December. Second, this year Nissan is releasing the 2015 model - almost unchanged from 2014 - in mid-year which is why the 2014s have the big discounts now. So in 2014 the end of the calendar year won't be the same as the end of the model year.
Peace wrote:4) it doesn't seem like the '13 is much cheaper than '14? do you know why?
Probably because they differ little and the 2014 production has already ended, as noted above.
Red Leaf: 2012 SL, lease, acquired 21 November 2012
Blue Leaf: 2011 SL, purchase (new, was dealer demo), acquired 4 March 2013

kubel
Posts: 1609
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:38 am
Leaf Number: 19628
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:54 pm

The S is a good bargain, unless you live in a region where you would experience cold winters. The heater in the S sucks. But when it comes to the motor, battery, charger, etc... it's pretty much the same car. You just lose out on the infotainment system and a few other minor things.

80% vs 100%: I don't like how this disappeared, but charging to 100% isn't bad as long as you don't let it sit at 100% for a long period of time, or in high heat.

Now is as good of a time as any to get the 2014. 0% APR for 72 months can be combined with $3500 on the hood, as long as you are financing through NMAC.

2013 might be cheaper because they've been in inventory for a while. No matter which one you get, bring a SOC meter with you to measure battery degradation.

Finally, and you can take this piece of advice and leave it, it's only my opinion: But I cannot recommend purchasing the LEAF at this time. There are still too many unknowns, particularly corporate unknowns (about the battery, will it be available for sale, how much, etc...). The LEAF makes an excellent lease, but a purchase is just too risky at this point.
2012 Nissan LEAF SV
20% degradation in 42k miles
Leased 5-17-2012, Returned 1-15-2016


2017 Chevy Volt LT
Siren Red Tintcoat
Leased 10-21-2016

GRA
Posts: 10889
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:20 pm

cgaydos wrote:
Peace wrote:1) If i were to buy a 2014 S trim and add the Charge Package, will this car have the capacity/capability of an SL?
Technically yes, as the battery et al is the same. But in practical terms, no, especially for Minnesota! The biggest enemy of LEAF range is cold, and the more extreme the worse the effect. The SV and SL have the more efficient heat pump so on those really cold days you'll get better range. Definitely worth it. The charge package is also worth it - even if you don't use the QC as much you'll find that the car is more useful with the faster level 2 charger than without the QC package.
Actually, on really cold days (IIRR below about -20C/-4 deg. F.) the SV and SL won't be using the heat pump, they'll use the resistive heater. It's on cool to moderately cold days (think spring/fall/early and late winter) where the heat pump will give you a range advantage.

The other major issue is that the 2013/2014 S lacks both 'B' mode and cruise control, if either of those are critical for you. 2015 S models are getting one or the other, forget which.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

LeftieBiker
Moderator
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Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:41 pm

The charge package is also worth it - even if you don't use the QC as much you'll find that the car is more useful with the faster level 2 charger than without the QC package.
That's a bit confusing. You don't need the Charge Package to get the 6.6kw charger, just an SV or SL model, which has it standard, along with the heat pump. Actually, I'm not even sure the base S lacks it now, but maybe it still does. Anyway, the best bet for Peace would appear to be an SV without the Premium Package, but with QC - assuming it's even available in her area! I got a great deal on an SV with Premium Package but without QC. The funny thing is, though, that there are NO QC stations in my region...
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.

Peace
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jun 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:26 pm

Wow, thanks so much for all your quick responses! they're very helpful - I feel better now and with more clarity in what i want. Regarding QC, they seem to be available only at Nissan dealerships (there are 6 around town). Other than that, my workplace, the local library, around downtown areas, etc. there are more and more Level 2 stations becoming available. There are 3 Leaf owners/lessees from my work and so there's always 2 cars parked there at the one L2 charge station. I plan to install 240v at home (have to shop around for the appropriate equipment and electrician - I did see a bunch of info on that topic from you all, thank you).

a bit nervous to deal with car sales people but I've got a good head and my shoulders and got some help from the right online sources. So, I think i'm ready to make deals next week (towards end of the month :))
thanks again!
Peace

Stoaty
Posts: 4486
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 3871
Location: West Los Angeles

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:50 pm

Peace wrote:a bit nervous to deal with car sales people but I've got a good head and my shoulders and got some help from the right online sources. So, I think i'm ready to make deals next week (towards end of the month :))
If I were in the market, I would wait a couple of weeks for Nissans big "announcement" (which they announced would be forthcoming) as there is some possibility it might change your purchase decision to a 2015.
2011 Leaf with 62,000 miles given to Nephew
2013 Tesla Model S85 with 251 miles rated range at full charge
Leaf Spy Manual
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LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 13004
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:26 pm

Regarding QC, they seem to be available only at Nissan dealerships (there are 6 around town).
Heh. There are zero stations in all of Upstate NY, last I knew. None in my whole region. Way to go Nissan - six in one town. ;-(


EDIT: are you certain these are actual DC Fast Charge (QC) stations, and not just level 2, 240 volt units...?
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.

Peace
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jun 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:41 am

Hi Leftiebiker -
Actually I can't say i'm positive. One of my co-workers leased a Leaf SV earlier 2014 and said that the Nissan she leased from have it (it's one of those that costs around $40K to install, so I'm guessing that's Level 3 Fast charge?) then I spoke to another N. dealership and the salesguy said they have a "fast charge". So, I assumed that the rest of the other Nissan dealerships in town have it too (my assumption totally, as i didn't have first hand knowledge about this - i do know that there is a total of 6 big N. dealerships in the TC). The Twin Cities are the biggest cities in the State and Saint Paul is MN's capital, so we have access to things that small towns in the state don't.

Hi Stoaty and others: What kinds of things are we expecting to hear from the upcoming Nissan announcement regarding the '15?? I'd hate to miss out on the current $3.5K rebate + 0% financing!
thanks much,
Peace

Peace
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jun 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Potential owner of a Leaf - checking in to verify some i

Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:09 am

Of course, the discussion for future Leafs would be surrounding ... the battery range (duh - pardon my question earlier). I read several articles about speculations of Nissan coming out with new Leafs w much better range , but I thought that's not until 2017. Anyway, I just didn't know if there's anything "secretive" about the '15 that we need to be aware about... from reading a few new articles, I now waiver once again whether we should lease or buy! Decisions, decisions...
You all have been great w your input. You rock!
thanks,
Peace

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