Let me bump and link my used Leaf buying guide. What you seem to want, unless you like extra features like remote access to climate control and a mediocre Nav system (or an excellent 4 camera parking system and good Bose stereo) is a Leaf S. Assuming that the 60 mile trip isn't at freeway speeds (heh) then the 24kwh "Lizard Pack" is what you want. It's found in all 2015 Leafs and in all 24kwh 2016 Leaf S cars. It's the most heat-tolerant pack Nissan has made to date, and while not perfect in that regard it's still your best bet. I'll add the buying guide link shortly.
Thanks for writing the buying guide-- it's one of the first things I read on the forum.
You're right, the S version is fine for us. We don't care about the remote access or the Nav system... or even the cameras & stereo... although we'd still buy a car with those features if the battery and the rest of the drive train was in good shape. We don't even care about the color and we wouldn't mind a few dings & scrapes.
On Oahu's "interstate" highways we're usually driving no faster than 60 MPH. (One stretch of H-1 and H-3 each have a 60 MPH speed limit, the rest are 55.) Most of our driving is between 30-50 MPH.
The vast majority of our weather is 75-85 degrees F with a few days in the low 90s. Air conditioning is nice but we can live without it if we need to squeeze out a few more miles of range. If I had to drive over 60 miles round trip then I'd probably take our other Prius anyway.
stjohnh wrote:A couple of questions:
Hawaii has expensive electricity, how much is your effective rate, considering you have solar? The reason I ask is that at 30 cents /kwh, the fuel cost for a Leaf will be very close to the fuel cost of a Pruis, assuming gasoline at $4/ gal.
With your minimal driving, even if your electricity cost is 15 cents/kwh, you will save very little yearly on fuel costs.
With your minimal driving, why do you want to charge at 240 volts? Even though slow, 120 charging should be fine for you.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Leaf, but I don't see much reason in your post for buying one. If you "just want electric" that's fine.
The main reason for buying a Leaf is that we're going to buy something, and a Leaf's been on our radar for a few years.
We've lived here for 29 years and we're familiar with expensive electricity, but that expense is not the main reason for buying a Leaf. We'll generate all the power we need from our solar panels, so we're independent of HECO's 30 cents/KWHr. I think the average Oahu homeowner's electric bill is up to $250/month, and we've heard of $400/month with some neighbors who use air conditioning.
We've had our grid-tied photovoltaic system since 2005 (we were one of the island's early adopters), and it paid for itself by 2011. (We did most of the mechanical & wiring work ourselves with used panels, and then we paid an electrician to do the final connections. We needed the electrician's license for the city permits and the signatures on HECO's net-metering agreement.) Our monthly electric bill is $18 for the grid connection fee, and the first-generation net-metering agreement compensates us at HECO's retail rate for each KWHr we generate. (HECO's latest net-metering agreements are much less generous.) We rarely use more power than we generate. As long as we stay at this address, a Leaf has very low operating costs for us.
Our total gas expense last year was about $850 total for two Priuses. I think gas got as low as $2.95/gallon for a while in 2018 but it's crept back up to about $3.50. Getting rid of at least a quarter of our fuel expenses that won't change our financial lives, but I'll happily give up oil changes.
I think you're right, we don't need a 240v charging system, although a shorter recharge time would be more convenient. It's not a big deal either way. I haven't done a lot of research on the choices, and we could wait until a bargain L2 system comes along. If we had two Leafs in our garage someday then I'd definitely want a 240v charger.
Most of our Prius systems have been reliable and we won't miss an internal-combustion engine. (We're not going back to ICE vehicles.) Our 2006 would be worth about $5000 if all of its auxiliary hardware & electronics worked. The main battery is fine but the dashboard display needs a new circuit card, which is a $150 card and either $1100 of the dealer's labor or a few hours of my frustration. (And brittle plastic dashboard pieces.) Another repair is a ventilation damper's stepper motor for a couple hundred bucks (and more brittle dashboard plastic). It could use new tires & struts, in a few years it'll need new brake shoes, maybe an engine tuneup in another five years... it all starts to add up. We'd easily buy another Prius, but the Leaf (with no ICE) seems simpler than a plug-in Prius.
LeftieBiker wrote:I think that they will, after driving a Prius, find driving a Leaf to be delightful. It happens a lot: driving a Prius gives one a taste for a quiet, clean electric drive, and then driving an actual EV becomes more like switching to a luxury sport sedan.
I think it's a nice vehicle for our needs. We prefer to drive beat-up beach cars instead of luxury sport sedans. If a Leaf fits in well with our routine then in a few years we'll replace the other Prius with another Leaf, perhaps with a bigger battery pack.
I don't feel mature or responsible enough to own a Tesla.
2015 model S, bought in January 2019.
2017 model S, bought in July 2019.