fiddlegeek
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:18 pm

Considering a Leaf in NH

Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:09 pm

Just got back from test driving a Leaf. The sales guys weren't much help in answering my questions, they clearly had very little knowledge or experience with the car.

From the reading I've done, I think I'm almost an ideal candidate for a Leaf. I have a 22-mile commute each way, mostly on back country roads at 40-50MPH, and my office is putting in a charging station that will be up for use in January. I have an old Pontiac Vibe AWD that I'd keep for long trips and snowy days.

But - I'm still nervous about making the investment. I'd love to get some thoughts, particularly from other owners in NH, because I'm really getting the sense that it's new territory around here.

Also - own vs. lease? I'm reading a lot of comments advocating leasing, but I normally prefer to buy my cars and drive them into the ground. (My Vibe is 11 years old with 210,000 miles on it. Just sank $3000 into overhauling it earlier this year.) Leasing seems like paying a lot of money for nothing - but if the battery is going to die a few years in and make the car useless, or uneconomical to maintain, then maybe that's not the best option.

RonDawg
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Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:59 pm

Battery degradation is one reason for leasing. While that may not be an issue where you are, what will be is resale value. If you truly want to go the purchase route, you may want to consider a low-mileage model from a cool-summer area such as the Pacific Northwest, and let someone else take the hit on depreciation.

Your commute should be fine for the Leaf especially if you will have access to charging at work.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

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planet4ever
Posts: 4674
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Leaf Number: 1537
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, south of San Jose

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:24 pm

fiddlegeek wrote:Leasing seems like paying a lot of money for nothing - but if the battery is going to die a few years in and make the car useless, or uneconomical to maintain, then maybe that's not the best option.
No, leasing is not paying a lot of money for nothing. I had never leased a car before I got my first LEAF, but I have become a believer. There are two ways to look at it, and you can come out ahead either way by leasing:
  1. Compare to buying a car with a down payment and a loan. For an equivalent down payment the monthly lease payment will be considerably lower than the loan payment, even if you stretch the purchase loan out over six years. Either way you have borrowed maybe $20K to $30K dollars from someone, and you have to expect there will be some interest cost involved. If you buy, rather than lease, a new car with a long-term loan you really don't make much of any value headway during the first two years, due to depreciation. So basically those monthly payments on the purchase loan are a lot of money for nothing.
  2. At the end of the lease you can always buy the car for the residual price, which might be only 60% of the original price. That residual price is locked in when you sign for the lease. So think of your lease payments as monthly payments on a purchase loan, then take out a much smaller loan at the end of the lease to finance the residual price. The advantage is that you have an option to purchase at the end of the lease, but you aren't committed. If the car (including the battery) is in good condition and the market price is higher than the residual, you win and Nissan loses. If the market price is lower than the residual, walk away. You come out even and Nissan has a turkey on its hands.
Ray
End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:08 am

I live in Upstate NY and have a 21.5-22.5 mile commute. I have three available routes, from 'slow and flat' to 'hilly and fast' (the one I usually take). I only got the 'low battery warning' for the second time yesterday (I've had the car since may 31st), and it wasn't while commuting. As long as you realize that in cold weather you will want to charge to 100%, you should be fine. The car can handle your weather. Heck, I use 120 volt charging, too! Oh, and I agree that leasing is the way to go. If your car proves to have an exceptional battery you can always buy it at the end of the lease. Otherwise, think of it as your "First Leaf" and plan on maybe buying a next generation model. Finally, don't get a model S. You need the better heater in the SV and SL models.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
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DNAinaGoodWay
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Leaf Number: 23156
Location: Central Massachusetts

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:56 am

If you want new, I'd do a 2 yr lease, for the reasons above, plus EVs are getting better and less expensive, and they'll be more to choose from here in future. Also, with new, you're under warranty, and it's still new tech. Compare prices to Marlboro Nissan, RT 20, MA.

But for a 22 mile ride when you can charge at work too? Consider that they'll soon be a lot of used LEAFs coming off lease and available relatively cheap. Find one with a good battery and you could ride it into the ground all you like. By the time the pack is so degraded you can't get 22 miles from it, there may be better replacement batteries available.
'12 SL last reading @ 2 yr, 22k, 260 GIDs, 62.35 Ahr

'15 SV w/QC, Mfd 5/14, Leased 8/14, 292 GIDs, 64.38 Ahr when new
@ 36 months, 34k, 270 GID, 57.49 Ahr

'17 Bolt LT



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apvbguy
Posts: 1403
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:34 pm
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Location: Jacksonville FL.

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:18 am

fiddlegeek wrote:Just got back from test driving a Leaf. The sales guys weren't much help in answering my questions, they clearly had very little knowledge or experience with the car.

From the reading I've done, I think I'm almost an ideal candidate for a Leaf. I have a 22-mile commute each way, mostly on back country roads at 40-50MPH, and my office is putting in a charging station that will be up for use in January. I have an old Pontiac Vibe AWD that I'd keep for long trips and snowy days.

But - I'm still nervous about making the investment. I'd love to get some thoughts, particularly from other owners in NH, because I'm really getting the sense that it's new territory around here.

Also - own vs. lease? I'm reading a lot of comments advocating leasing, but I normally prefer to buy my cars and drive them into the ground. (My Vibe is 11 years old with 210,000 miles on it. Just sank $3000 into overhauling it earlier this year.) Leasing seems like paying a lot of money for nothing - but if the battery is going to die a few years in and make the car useless, or uneconomical to maintain, then maybe that's not the best option.
you do seem like a good prospect for a LEAF, that said, you should be aware that the car's range can be limited by the very cold weather.
as for leasing vs. buying, the consensus has been that leasing is a better idea because of the rapid changes in the technology and the issue of battery degradation. if you buy you are shouldering the risk that a newer more efficient or less expensive technology will hit the market destroying the value of your car and/or the loss of range over time because the battery has lost some of it's capacity. YMMV
good luck
WARNING This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm

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ksnogas2112
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Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:59 am

1. Lease don't buy
2. Sounds like you're in a good place the two concerns I would have would be elevation and snow. I don't know NH geography. If you're hilly and snowy that 44 mile round trip could be nervous in the winter if you can't charge at the office at least for a little bit on 120 if you run the heater. Check the math on a lease, you'll want to get at least 15k miles. 40 miles * 365 = 14,600... yes i know you won't drive to work on the weekends but trust me, you'll drive the car big time when you get it.
Tom in KS
100 Mile Club-#57
http://ksnogas.blogspot.com/
Try reading a book, it's a novel experience
MY 2012 - Cayenne Red-55,000+ miles

WetEV
Posts: 4052
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:25 am

fiddlegeek wrote:Also - own vs. lease? I'm reading a lot of comments advocating leasing, but I normally prefer to buy my cars and drive them into the ground. (My Vibe is 11 years old with 210,000 miles on it. Just sank $3000 into overhauling it earlier this year.) Leasing seems like paying a lot of money for nothing - but if the battery is going to die a few years in and make the car useless, or uneconomical to maintain, then maybe that's not the best option.
Battery life model predicts 70% (normal End Of Life or EOL) in 8.7 years and 95,000 miles (11,000 miles a year, Boston MA, always parked in shade, 4 miles/kWh), or 70% in 6.5 years and 104,000 miles (16,000 miles a year). You might be able to use the car beyond EOL, perhaps well beyond EOL if workplace charging is always available. And replacing the battery should be an option, a replacement battery (guess for price in 7 years = $5000) should allow for long term lower cost ownership than leasing in cooler climates.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... sp=sharing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/wiki/index. ... acity_Loss" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The biggest issue with owning is that Nissan hasn't figured out what they want to sell replacement batteries for. Until they do, it looks harder to keep a car longer term, which makes leasing look more attractive. I've bought, and I'm still happy with that. I'm near Seattle, and in a better climate than most, but I'd strongly suggest you read the wiki for battery loss before you buy. Lease? No worries on the battery in Boston area as long as you remember you will lose some capacity.
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
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essaunders
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 7:20 am
Delivery Date: 20 Jan 2012
Location: southern NH

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:33 am

I'm a month shy of 2 years with my LEAF in southern NH. my commute is ~15 miles round trip - so I'm not stressing the car at all - With 44 miles RT, you won't likely need to at work charging, but that lowers your risk significantly. most important for winter, really. I bought my car - mostly because I didn't want to deal with a new car in three years. My capacity (pre 3227, via leafspylite) is ~95% still.

where in the state are you?

fiddlegeek
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:18 pm

Re: Considering a Leaf in NH

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:16 pm

essaunders wrote:I'm a month shy of 2 years with my LEAF in southern NH. my commute is ~15 miles round trip - so I'm not stressing the car at all - With 44 miles RT, you won't likely need to at work charging, but that lowers your risk significantly. most important for winter, really. I bought my car - mostly because I didn't want to deal with a new car in three years. My capacity (pre 3227, via leafspylite) is ~95% still.

where in the state are you?
Seacoast, Exeter area and I'm commuting up to Dover.

Based on the info above, I'm *almost* convinced I should lease. Now I just need to decide on sooner vs later. Could I get a better deal if I wait till 2014?

Also selection seems to be pretty limited in the Northeast. What are my chances of getting it in red? :)

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