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Old 07-10-2015, 03:15 PM   #21
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It's 25 miles to the closest real grocery store, and our Saturday shopping/errand trips usually rack up 70 miles. So, that's doable.

My neighbor up the street has a leaf and it works well for him.
Doable? Maybe, but with a 75 mile EPA rating, that seems to be cutting it awfully close? Are real world numbers much higher? And what about after the battery has aged a few years, doesn't the range decrease?

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Old 07-10-2015, 04:40 PM   #22
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also remember range goes down in cold and very hot weather.


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Old 07-10-2015, 07:34 PM   #23
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It's 25 miles to the closest real grocery store, and our Saturday shopping/errand trips usually rack up 70 miles. So, that's doable.

My neighbor up the street has a leaf and it works well for him.
Where you shop or otherwise need to visit, are there any "free" charging stations available? In my neck of the woods there are two such stations at my local Costco parking lot. You are allowed up to 60 minutes of charging for free. Don't know if the charger shuts off after an hour or if it's strictly on the honor system. In any case, an hour charge should insure you always get home if you're only doing 70 miles. YMMV
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:26 PM   #24
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I didn't read this link in detail, but skimming, some Leaf owners are reporting 72-86% capacity after 3-4 years.

If that translates to ~ 75% of a 75 mile range, that's 56 miles. After just 3-4 years?

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopi...3371&start=350

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Old 07-11-2015, 12:54 AM   #25
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Yes, I saw that several report a loss of 0.5Ah per month. The battery capacity is 66Ah, so that's 9% capacity loss per year. After 5 years, then you have only 1/2 the range. That can be a problem, to put it mildly.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:18 AM   #26
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Yes, I saw that several report a loss of 0.5Ah per month. The battery capacity is 66Ah, so that's 9% capacity loss per year. After 5 years, then you have only 1/2 the range. That can be a problem, to put it mildly.
That's the major drawback on having an electric car.....battery losses and eventual replacement. Makes them a difficult sell in the used market. For example, used Volt's are going for low prices. I suspect that pure electric models are affected by this more than a hybrid.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:05 AM   #27
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Yes, I saw that several report a loss of 0.5Ah per month. The battery capacity is 66Ah, so that's 9% capacity loss per year. After 5 years, then you have only 1/2 the range. That can be a problem, to put it mildly.
I skimmed, so I have no idea if these are outliers. I didn't get a sense of what a typical degradation would be (a couple standard deviation range of ranges?).

I also didn't see exactly what the warranty covers. I got the sense that some people were extrapolating they would be on the edge of a warranty replacement hitting either a mile or time limit, and they were adjusting their driving in hopes of getting the replacement. Maybe even pushing the battery a little harder than they might normally do to help assure they get there? I didn't get the sense they were doing anything unethical (subjective), but more were just not 'babying' the battery, which is really above and beyond what the warranty would require anyhow. I think they did things like only fast charge, and run through a full 'empty' to 'full' charge cycle as much as they could, while many are careful to charge to only 80% if they don't anticipate needing the full range on the next trip. The 80% charge apparently extends the life of the pack (the mfg already limits these packs to less than a full charge - one reason they last longer than a typical laptop battery, which can be replaced cheaply).

edit/add: I recall seeing an article where a lady was suing the hybrid mfg, she says her mileage dropped significantly after a few years, and this was traced back to the battery pack losing capacity. Not sure how that turned out. But yes, it would be a more subtle change than having the EV car slow to a crawl - and there are other variables in mpg, so how many drivers would notice? But that is what you are paying for in a hybrid.

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Old 07-11-2015, 09:36 AM   #28
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Doable? Maybe, but with a 75 mile EPA rating, that seems to be cutting it awfully close? Are real world numbers much higher? And what about after the battery has aged a few years, doesn't the range decrease?

-ERD50
I'll ask my neighbor about it.

>Free charging stations in town?

Yes. My neighbor uses these.

>also remember range goes down in cold and very hot weather.

We never have that here (North Coast near Eureka).
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #29
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I'll ask my neighbor about it.

>Free charging stations in town?

Yes. My neighbor uses these.

>also remember range goes down in cold and very hot weather.

We never have that here (North Coast near Eureka).
How many miles range do you get from each hour of charge at the stations at your destination?

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Old 07-11-2015, 11:13 AM   #30
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I think they did things like only fast charge, and run through a full 'empty' to 'full' charge cycle as much as they could, while many are careful to charge to only 80% if they don't anticipate needing the full range on the next trip. The 80% charge apparently extends the life of the pack (the mfg already limits these packs to less than a full charge - one reason they last longer than a typical laptop battery, which can be replaced cheaply).
I've watched the battery charge/discharge as I drive my hybrid in various kinds of traffic and conditions. While I don't think the simple diagram on the dashboard is 100% accurate at all times, it is pretty obvious that the car's computer is doing some very sophisticated work controlling when the batteries are charged and discharged based upon driving conditions. For example, if the batteries are topped-off, it seems to use the electric motor more often, I assume to make room in the battery to collect any regenerative power created by braking. Otherwise, the power would be wasted.

FWIW, I have driven a mile or so in very heavy stop-and-go traffic with the engine off the entire time. That has to be saving some wear and tear on the engine, one would think. And the regenerative braking certainly saves the brake pads. So there are pluses and minuses to the entire concept of electrically powered cars. What else is new?
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:17 AM   #31
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In a hybrid car, the battery+electric motor/generator acts as a buffer to the gas engine for acceleration boost and for regenerative braking. It allows the gas engine to be completely off at times, and also for it to be smaller and still have the acceleration when needed. It makes a lot of sense, and I think a hybrid car does not have to run down its battery like an EV. So, hopefully the battery of a hybrid will last longer.
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:11 PM   #32
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We have three months left of a three year lease on a2012 Ford Focus Electric car. It has been simply wonderful with no weaknesses other than the 80 mile range. It is not our only car, so distances are covered in our Jeep Liberty diesel which we need to keep to tow our travel trailer. (We also have an old (1997) Miata which doesn't get much use but doesn't cost much to own and DW says I can sell it when I pry it out of her cold, dead hands.) We are only averaging 7K mi a year, less than the 10.5k allowed by the lease, but a lot of these trips are short runs which helps preserve our other cars We are looking to replace it with a plug in hybrid; a Volt, C-Max Energy, or Fusion Energi. Then all medium trips would be on the plug in and even distant drives where we are not using the trailer. I would buy the Focus off the lease if they offered a steep discount but Ford refused to negotiate and there will be good deals to look at EVs and plug ins. We already have the 240 charging station at home and know where the free chargers are and being able to drive solo in the car pool lane has been a benefit even if e are retired. If I were working it would be a no brainer to have an EV as there would be free charging at work. EVs can be really great, actually compelling, but only in the right circumstances are they economical, and free charging is part of the calculation.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:51 AM   #33
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Meaning absolutely no disrespect to anyone else's car choices:

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around owning a "new" car (EV, Hybrid or conventional) for low-yearly-mileage applications. All three of our cars (2 on the Island and 1 in the heartland) are low-yearly-mileage cars - but in total, I doubt we paid the cost of one new car since none were less than 8 years old when purchased used. I mention this especially in conjunction with (specifically) EVs. Since the range is so limited, how would you drive enough miles in a day to be OTHER than a low-mileage vehicle. At least one response so far indicated their EV isn't even close to the allowed lease miles per year.

Theoretically, if you bought a new car and "used it up" (maybe 250,000 miles) in 5 years, the cost per mile would not differ much from a used car (maybe 3 years old with 50K and going to 250K in the next 4 years.) But, cost per mile for a new car is DRAMATIC for the 1st mile and goes down very slowly from there as you use up the vehicle. If you only put 20K on a new car in 3 years and then, either replace (trade) or return (lease), the cost per mile is quite high since the most depreciation has already occurred.

So, if I'm making a point I guess it would be this premise: Low(er) mileage/year cars are probably better when purchased used. High mileage/year cars skew the equation more to the new car - even though it's difficult to make a case for "lowest" cost per mile with a new car - ever (neglecting the lemon used car with no warranty.)

As I've stated before, I love all the new technology (even just the "improved" mileage of conventional cars.) I make no "value" judgements in presenting these ideas. I strongly believe folks should spend their money on what makes them happiest. Having said that, I just want to (gently) ask the question of whether EVs and other "new" technology is "worth" the (possibly) lower fuel costs per mile. If I've asked this before, I apologize. Maybe I'm just trying to find a way to justify buying one of these WAY COOL cars for myself!! YMMV
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:00 PM   #34
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So, if I'm making a point I guess it would be this premise: Low(er) mileage/year cars are probably better when purchased used. High mileage/year cars skew the equation more to the new car - even though it's difficult to make a case for "lowest" cost per mile with a new car - ever (neglecting the lemon used car with no warranty.)
Disclaimer: I've done quite a few corporate car park optimizing projects.

In short: a new car is a higher upfront investment (capex if you will) and a lower per-mile cost vs. an older car.

So the more miles, indeed the better off one typically is with a newer car.

The devil is however in the individual specifics:
  • Incentives and subsidies
  • Getting high discounts (on end of line models or ex-showroom)
  • Technology jumps, lower fuel use on newer cars
  • Tax structure
Usually the best thing one can do (financially) as an individual is buy a very young used car from another individual. Preferably a car which still has alot of warranty on it.


And if you drive very little, consider going other routes: taxi, golf cart, bike, car sharing, walking, ..
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:19 PM   #35
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I recently thought about getting a used plug-in car for running errands, seeing that used prices look awfully good. But the possible serious range shortening after just a few years turns me off. If I get it, it's more like a toy, but it would not be a fun toy if it causes me additional problems in my life.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:24 PM   #36
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About battery degradation, don't these cars come with long battery warranties?

Prius and other hybrids have been around for awhile but you don't hear much about battery replacement costs.


I think the next gen of EVs are going to be more compelling.

Tesla Model 3 in the mid $30ks with 200 mile range, Chevy Bolt with similar price and range and Nissan Leaf II is suppose to also have comparable range.

Some of these models may or may not be available with tax credits/deductions as I understand they're per manufacturer?

Of course, with options, the prices could go much higher. I would guess if you want the sensors to convert the Tesla to a self-driving car, you'd have to pay extra.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:43 PM   #37
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I do not know what the normal warranty in the EV industry is, but the Leaf has a 8-year warranty. So a used car may have only 5 years left, and as we ER's drive so little I want a car that can last decades. EVs have the attractive feature of low maintenance, but the savings and convenience may be wiped out and then some with the battery replacement.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:03 PM   #38
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In a hybrid car, the battery+electric motor/generator acts as a buffer to the gas engine for acceleration boost and for regenerative braking. It allows the gas engine to be completely off at times, and also for it to be smaller and still have the acceleration when needed. It makes a lot of sense, and I think a hybrid car does not have to run down its battery like an EV. So, hopefully the battery of a hybrid will last longer.

Toyota limits charge/discharges to ~75/25% to help extend life. They also use Ni-Mn instead of Lithium-ion which have a demonstrated longer life and no safety concerns, but heavier (no free lunch). I also read that individual cells can be replaced and it can be reconditioned, in lieu of replacing new at $2-4k. Consumer reports is claiming pads and rotors lasting 3x longer than gas only which should also be factored in. With these trades and initial +2k purchase cost over the gas only Camry I still think it is worth it. Only having to refill every 600+ miles is a plus!
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:31 PM   #39
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Meaning absolutely no disrespect to anyone else's car choices:

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around owning a "new" car (EV, Hybrid or conventional) for low-yearly-mileage applications. All three of our cars (2 on the Island and 1 in the heartland) are low-yearly-mileage cars - but in total, I doubt we paid the cost of one new car since none were less than 8 years old when purchased used. I mention this especially in conjunction with (specifically) EVs. Since the range is so limited, how would you drive enough miles in a day to be OTHER than a low-mileage vehicle. At least one response so far indicated their EV isn't even close to the allowed lease miles per year.

Theoretically, if you bought a new car and "used it up" (maybe 250,000 miles) in 5 years, the cost per mile would not differ much from a used car (maybe 3 years old with 50K and going to 250K in the next 4 years.) But, cost per mile for a new car is DRAMATIC for the 1st mile and goes down very slowly from there as you use up the vehicle. If you only put 20K on a new car in 3 years and then, either replace (trade) or return (lease), the cost per mile is quite high since the most depreciation has already occurred.

So, if I'm making a point I guess it would be this premise: Low(er) mileage/year cars are probably better when purchased used. High mileage/year cars skew the equation more to the new car - even though it's difficult to make a case for "lowest" cost per mile with a new car - ever (neglecting the lemon used car with no warranty.)

As I've stated before, I love all the new technology (even just the "improved" mileage of conventional cars.) I make no "value" judgements in presenting these ideas. I strongly believe folks should spend their money on what makes them happiest. Having said that, I just want to (gently) ask the question of whether EVs and other "new" technology is "worth" the (possibly) lower fuel costs per mile. If I've asked this before, I apologize. Maybe I'm just trying to find a way to justify buying one of these WAY COOL cars for myself!! YMMV

For one, I do not want to keep a car to 250K... my normal time is about 100K and/or 10 years.... after that I kinda want a new car...

Buying a car that is 5 years old means I will only keep it maybe 5 years.... and the prices do not seem to reflect that it is a 5 year old car...
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Old 07-13-2015, 04:32 PM   #40
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About battery degradation, don't these cars come with long battery warranties? ....
I found this on battery degradation of the Leaf (looks current per wiki):

Breaking: Nissan Now Offically Warranties Battery Capacity To Stay Above 70% | Inside EVs

Quote:
Nissan would now be warranty all LEAFs to hold a charge of at least 9 (out of 12) bars of battery capacity for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

9 bars is roughly equal to 70% of original pack capacity.
So if T-Al gets a Leaf, and capacity drops to 70%, that's .7 * 75 mile EPA = 52.5 mile range. That makes you pretty dependent on that charger being available. And hopefully no emergency call that might have you turning around right after you got there. I dunno, I just don't like these limitations.


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Meaning absolutely no disrespect to anyone else's car choices:

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around owning a "new" car (EV, Hybrid or conventional) for low-yearly-mileage applications. ...
Similar to Texas Proud - my low mileage car is now 15 years old, and that is about my limit, starting to get some rust, and I figure some major repair might be around the corner. If I bought an 5-8 year old car, I'd always be driving an old car. Just seems to me the amortized cost over 15 years isn't a big deal. And it means buying a car more often, I hate the car buying process, it's one of the reasons I'm still driving this one!

And I know how it's been driven and maintained. That is worth something.

But if it's working for you, that's good. Just not my preference. I used to always buy used, I do think the deals are not what they were.

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