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Advice on Buying Electric Car
Old 04-29-2016, 08:55 AM   #1
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Advice on Buying Electric Car

I'd planned to wait another year or two before buying an electric car, but our Echo was totaled yesterday, so I'm starting the shopping process.

I admit that part of my motivation is the fun of having an electric car.

My current plan is to buy a Nissan Leaf SL for $37,000. The range is 107 miles on a charge.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:04 AM   #2
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Have you considered used?

For comparison, Carmax has a few 2011's for sale around $10K. 2012's for $1K-2K more.

I'm sure the range is lower, but might be worth it for the much lower purchase price.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:05 AM   #3
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Look at used ones. I've seen some smoking deals on low mileage Leafs. Of course, you will need to get permission to buy an electric car from the environmental analysts here.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:26 AM   #4
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If you live in a cold part of the country, I'd want to know what they do for cabin heat in the winter.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:54 AM   #5
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I'd go with a Chevy Volt. Best of both worlds IMHO. IIRC, the early Leafs had issues with battery longevity in hot climates like here in Arizona.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:55 AM   #6
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If going all electric, which other cars are candidates besides the Leaf? Not that many to choose from I don't believe. The Leaf looks like a very nice electric car for fun. Oh, and to pick up groceries too .
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:06 AM   #7
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I'd go with a Chevy Volt. Best of both worlds IMHO. IIRC, the early Leafs had issues with battery longevity in hot climates like here in Arizona.
I second this idea. I've noted you can get pretty good pricing on a few year old Volt in this area and don't need to be concerned regarding range or "forgetting" to plug it in.

Just checked and I can get a 2013 Volt with 30K miles for $16,000
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:23 AM   #8
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I second this idea. I've noted you can get pretty good pricing on a few year old Volt in this area and don't need to be concerned regarding range or "forgetting" to plug it in.
My concern with an all electric car - especially one with limited range like the Leaf - is returning from a trip to the supermarket with the battery almost depleted and discovering I forgot to get something important (the wife!).

Life is too short. Get the Volt.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:31 AM   #9
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Yes, used is a good idea. I've seen articles suggesting that. I'll reread them.

http://mendocino.craigslist.org/cto/5533421929.html
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:32 AM   #10
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... discovering I forgot to get something important (the wife!).

Speaking of leaving the wife behind...

In the news yesterday: Stranded mom sobs as cruise ship sails away with her kids | New York Post.

The husband found out that his wife was not onboard at sailing time. The ship waited for 1/2 hour, then the husband agreed to stay behind with travel papers to look for his wife. The kids were OK as their uncle was onboard.

Nothing was said about what the woman did to be late. Too busy shopping?
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'd planned to wait another year or two before buying an electric car, but our Echo was totaled yesterday, so I'm starting the shopping process.

I admit that part of my motivation is the fun of having an electric car.

My current plan is to buy a Nissan Leaf SL for $37,000. The range is 107 miles on a charge.

Thoughts?
My thought is that it is hard to give any meaningful advice w/o any criteria.

Since "fun" is all you listed, I would think a Tesla would be a lot more fun than a Leaf? So buy a Tesla. More fun and more range.

Those are my thoughts.

These look like fun:

10 Quickest Electric Cars in the World

-ERD50
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:46 AM   #12
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Al, I would not recommend purchasing a new all-electric car at this time. The technology is changing quickly, and this isn't a good match for people that keep their cars for a long time. I would purchase used, or possibly consider a lease if the deal was right.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:49 AM   #13
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There is a reason why cars like Nissan Leaf's and other pure electrics are on the used market with very few miles. Research that, then buy a used Volt.
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:38 PM   #14
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Could be a book in that - Charge, Drive, Walk
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Old 04-29-2016, 04:08 PM   #15
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So are you willing to consider the Prius or Lexus CT? I too think the hybrid approach would be a better bet.
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Old 04-29-2016, 04:33 PM   #16
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The Prius isn't as good a match for us, since most of our miles are highway miles. It's 35 miles to the main city (Eureka).

New vs. Used will come down to 80 mile range for $10,000 vs 100 mile range for $36,000.

I asked my neighbor if he still liked his Leaf, and here's his reply.
As you may know, we totaled our first (2012) Leaf last December hitting a tree that had just fallen across hwy 101. The Leaf protected us beautifully. We bought another (2015) Leaf to replace it. I like the Leaf except for its range limitations. The 2016 Leaf is supposed to have greater range (104 miles I believe) so its actual mileage would probably be 85-90 miles or so, which is enough to get to Eureka and back without problems. You might want to check out the Kia Soul electric, or the Chevy Bolt in the fall with its 200 mile range. If you go with the Leaf, pick a higher trim level as the interior components are better quality.

As you may have heard, we just took delivery of a new Tesla Model X on Monday. It is wondrous. Truly a magnificent driving experience. I can bring it down if you want to take a look. We are now a two EV family. We will use the Leaf for local driving to Arcata and north, and the Tesla for our longer trips.

Give Lena my best, and I hope she heals quickly. Jim
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:29 PM   #17
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Look at used ones. I've seen some smoking deals on low mileage Leafs. Of course, you will need to get permission to buy an electric car from the environmental analysts here.

You've got mine as long as you put a bumper sticker on it that says "No VEHICLE emissions". :-)

EVs and hybrids are a great buy theses days. Just don't wait until the price of gas goes way up.


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Old 04-29-2016, 05:32 PM   #18
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The Prius isn't as good a match for us, since most of our miles are highway miles. It's 35 miles to the main city (Eureka).
Confused about this... Why isn't the Prius a good match? The 2016s get 50mpg on highway, up from even prior Prius versions, and the 16s are much nicer on the inside than the older models.

DW and I are considering a Prius ourselves, kind of out of the blue, as well as the Honda HRV and BMW X1... but that's already a whole different thread.

Just curious what makes the Prius "not a match" given the highway miles?
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:45 PM   #19
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My thought is that it is hard to give any meaningful advice w/o any criteria.

Since "fun" is all you listed, I would think a Tesla would be a lot more fun than a Leaf? So buy a Tesla. More fun and more range.

Those are my thoughts.

These look like fun:

10 Quickest Electric Cars in the World

-ERD50
Asked why not a Tesla of my dentist - he had been driving a BMW M5, which was fun, then a Maserati hardtop. Now he is in a Maserati soft-top. He seems to be more a big hat kinda guy - said if he was going to spend that kind of money he wanted it to be noticed. I note that a neighbor just paid $1200 complete for a dental extraction,implant, abutment, and crown in Mexico and had nothing but praise for the dentist. My dentist charged over $5000 for the same work several years back. Maybe my dentist is having too much fun.

Glad Lena is ok - didn't she do a serious dismount from a bike a while ago? Or was that you Al? Gonna have to start wearing bubble wrap outfits when you two go out!
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:59 PM   #20
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Don't. Limited range and long recharge eliminates the thought. Not to mention, ok, mention, cost premium even with the drain on government budgets they create.
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