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My Latest Crazy Idea: Trade ICE for Used Leaf, Wait for Model 3

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by igotzzoom, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Okay, I know I've posted various nutty ideas on this forum, running the gamut from buying a Kia Soul EV to its complete polar opposite, the Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack. Here's my latest idea. Used Nissan Leaf models are available VERY cheap right now. I only need long range typically one day a week. The rest of the time, I maybe travel 30-50 miles per day. On the one day I need the long-range, I can borrow my wife's Ford Escape. Figuring it's going to be about 2.5 years until the Model 3 is out, I'm thinking of getting a used Leaf, just to get used to living with an EV. What do you guys think?
     
  2. quartzav

    quartzav Member

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    I had the same mindset while waiting for Model X. All EVs are not the same and I would say my EV experiences are very different from vehicle to vehicle. Having to live with a used 2011 Leaf for the past 7 months (coming from RAV4 EV) the range limitation is real and has to be considered IMHO. In the winter without workplace charging, you are looking at a 20 miles highway round trip (so 40 miles total when ambient temp is around 30 F). If that range fits with your definition of short-range then I would say it is not undoable.
     
  3. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Good to know. Four days of the week, it's typically mostly stoplight-to-stoplight suburban driving. 20 miles round-trip is pretty restricting...The Soul EV was attractive for its (relatively) long-range, but I think it's a little overpriced for what it is, plus, I didn't want to be locked in to a 36 or 42-month lease when the Model 3 came out.
     
  4. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    If you can live with the range, it's certainly an option. I couldn't live with the range of any of the current <$75k EV's, so an off-lease Volt is my new ride while I wait for the 3. Off-lease Volt's are becoming plentiful and are nearly as inexpensive as an off-lease Leaf, go nearly as far on electricity, but no range issues. And they mostly look like a "normal" car. You just might be able to do your daily drive purely on the battery most of the year. Even at 50 daily miles on the interstate you'll be well over 100mpg.

    Yes, not quite as "pure" as a LEAF. But it's only using half the gas my Prius was using for my daily commute. The Prius has gone to my wife, cutting her gas use in half as well allowing her "relatively" gas-guzzling Scion xA to be parked.

    And yes, I'm LOVING the electric drive side of the car!
     
  5. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    I would do Volt over the Leaf. If you do a Leaf, do a 2013 or newer, and make sure you get 6.6 Level 2/CHadeMO. Also make sure the Leaf was not residing in a hot climate first.

    Used Volts and Leafs are excellent values, and there are a lot of them that are in really good shape.
     
  6. quartzav

    quartzav Member

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    Your location should be a lot warmer than us up in the mountains. So you may be able to squeeze 30 miles (60 miles round trip for semi-highway speed) out of that battery ;) If Tesla reveals Model 3 March 2016 and they are delivering model 3 in Sep. 2018, I think you would be safe with locking in a 36 months with just 6 months overlap.
     
  7. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Yeah. I have a friend with a used Volt, and he loves it. I might check the prices of some in my area. Not the worst idea. Although it sounds like the '16 model will be a better car in almost every measurable way. But I've got to go into this with the realization that it's a "placeholder" until I get the Model 3.
     
  8. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    I can't address the particulars, but the general idea of getting into an EV, any EV ASAP, and then moving to Gen 3 later is an excellent one. There are things you'll learn by driving the EV that you just have to do for yourself. And the sooner you start, the sooner that some of your transportation miles are EV miles. All EV miles are good miles.

    I also think the "hybrid garage" point of view you're approaching this with is good. Instead of figuring out how to own several cars that can all do everything you ever need, have one car that can handle the longer range and specific trips, and have a cheap used EV that can handle the bulk (but not all) of your regular driving miles.

    You'll find that you and your family start finding ways to shift more miles to the EV and away from whatever else you have (if you're like most households), but you really need to experience that for yourself.


    Last note is that you're in California, a place not known for its cold winter weather or deep snowfall. I would expect the actual hit to usable winter driving range to be lightweight, especially if you don't particularly need the heater in the winter. From what I've seen, the heater is where the serious losses go - figure its a 6kw/hour draw whether the car is moving or not. But if you're not using the heater, or not leaving it on, then you're just eating the increased rolling resistance from driving through all that snow you get there in Laguna Hills :)
     
  9. KJD

    KJD Member

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    I drove a LEAF for just over 3 years. It was a decent car when new. The problem was every summer the battery got weaker and the car had less range. You would be much better off just driving what every you have right now and save your money for that Model 3.

    If you really need a new car sooner than that, at least wait for the 2016 LEAF with a bigger battery.
    2016 Nissan LEAF To Get 25% Larger Battery/More Range, New Colors
     
  10. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    #10 igotzzoom, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    Well, obviously would have to get the wife's sign-off on the idea, but if she's open to it, then I might go for it. Only major expense I see involved is adding an EVSE in the garage.

    In all likelihood, the options will come down to getting an EV or EREV, or just holding on to my current car and getting a Model 3 when it's available.
     
  11. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    GM took 10k out of their cost on the Volt since the 2011's to the new generation. It hasn't ALL come from the battery getting cheaper. The cost accountants have been cheapening bits and pieces of it every year and I'd expect a lot of the touch & feel components to be a step down in the new generation (in 2013 the leather seats got cheaper/worse and it lost the power-open charge port, for instance). That said, the newer ones do go further on a charge and the new gen gains 10 EPA electric miles. Decisions, decisions...
     
  12. quartzav

    quartzav Member

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    I would add one more vote to the used Volt if you can get one cheap enough to pull the price delta away from leasing the 2016. It really requires less adjustment on trip planning but it would have a huge psychological impact on your driving behavior in order to drive as many miles in electric as possible.
     
  13. Drucifer

    Drucifer Active Member

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    #13 Drucifer, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    I leased a new 2013 Volt 34 months ago as a placeholder for a Model S (that you couldn't get then unless you had a reservation going back for years). The only reason I did "new" is because there was no such thing as a used Volt at the time. Now, there is no way I would take a new Volt as a placeholder vehicle. If I was going "all in" - not a placeholder - a new Volt, new Model S or CPO Model S are fine options. IF you are really planning on driving something for 2-3 years and selling it, you will do much better in the three year old, $18k Volt (or Leaf equivalent) that you will be able to sell for probably $10k in 3 years. THe gas and maintenance savings will also put you in a great position to set aside money for the eventual Tesla acquisition. my .02

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, I would recommend getting an EVSE that plugs into an NEMA 14-50 outlet. Then, when you get the Tesla, you will already have the NEMA 14-50 outlet and you can continue using the EVSE with an adaptor or you can sell it if you no longer need it. The NEMA 14-50 "futureproofs" you regardless of what you do.
     
  14. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Both the Volt and Leaf are fine cars. Not Tesla quality but again not near Tesla price. If 60 miles of range will cover you the Leaf is the ticket. But if on occasion you need more than 60 miles, like us, go with the Volt. So far we have been pleased with the Volt.
     
  15. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Wife seems indifferent on the idea one way or the other. I'm finding a lot of nice low-mileage 2013+ Leafs for between $10,000-14,000. I'm only interested in the '13 or newer because they have the 6.6 kW charger, and the SL has the standard CHAdeMo. I'm going on a business trip next week, so I'll resume the search when I get back. But considering I could probably get $15,000 for my car as it is right now, plus the gas savings, it seems like it would be a smart move in the interim 'til the Model 3 comes out. Even if I could get $7,500 for it when I sell, that would be a decent down payment on a Model 3. I looked at used Volts, but the prices and mileage were higher than I was interested in. Thoughts?
     
  16. MartinAustin

    MartinAustin Active Member

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    I think it's a good idea. There are tons of Leafs on lots these days. As long as you can play them off each other, one dealer will give you a great deal. Try to do it on the last day of the month, too... so they can boost their sales numbers
     
  17. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    While I have your guys' attention, have any of you sold your car to CarMax. I've sold several cars through AutoTrader and/or Craigslist, and am not opposed to doing it again, but if I could get a competitive price from CarMax, I might just do that to save the hassle. Any experiences?
     
  18. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    I think it is much better to lease a new Leaf - and by the time the lease is up 3 should be out.

    With Gen 1 EVs leasing is the way to go.

    I've been fossil fuel free for 4 years - instead of just sitting on my hands waiting for an affordable Tesla.
     
  19. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I gave my VW Eos to CarMax this year (after mostly not driving it for nearly three years after buying the Volt.) The experience was great - half an hour of filling things in and them inspecting the car, then I had an offer good for a week.

    The price wasn't great - a couple thousand below KBB, despite all of Carmax's comments being positive and being in great condition and with a better than factory OEM Navigation system.

    After some thought, I did eventually accept it - turning the car in was even shorter and simpler. I'm sure I could have gotten more for it in the private market, but that'd mean waiting for a bite and showing the car to people and risking bounced checks or issues with reporting cash deposits or worse (lots of money involved, plus strangers in/near my house who know I have the money...) I'd also feel like I was on the hook if the new owner had trouble with the HPFP or DSG - both known weaknesses of the car though mine were fine AFAIK.
    Walter
     
  20. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Okay...another question. Only because I'm thinking I really might do this. What would you say is the most expeditious sequence for getting an EVSE installed? Is it best to contact the utility first (in my case, SoCal Edison) and get the process moving, or to contact an electrician first? I'd have to get a a NEMA 14-50 installed first, and from what I've read here and elsewhere, probably a second sub-meter for the EV circuit. From start to finish, typically how much time are we talking about?

    On a related note, in the interim when you had an EV but no EVSE, how easy was it to live just charging with a 110/120v charger and/or public charger? Based on the PlugShare map, it seems like there are plenty of Level 2 and even CHAdeMo chargers within a reasonable distance of my house.
     

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