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Old 03-06-2016, 02:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by solarguy View Post
Really, we're saying that extreme cold is bad for cars. All cars.

As much as you can keep the Leaf plugged in, and it does have battery heat and -some- insulation, I would go electric if in your situation.

hth
Yep. Some say I should just move. But hey! I love it here! The cold is hard on ICE engines. It's also hard on batteries. The nice thing is that I don't have to deal with the heat. 80°F is about as hot as it gets around here, in the afternoon in mid July.

But the cold does bring up some things to think about. For an example, would a rubberized under coating to protect from road salt interfere with how the batteries cool in the summer? I guess I could just do a good inspection every spring and use regular old paint for any damage.

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Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
The Leaf sounds like it would work well for you. I would just be sure to get one with a heat pump (I believe they started offering them in 2013).

Regarding the longer trips 6 times a year, how far would they be? If there are chargers available along the way, you might be able to get away with driving the Leaf. A Volt would also solve the range anxiety and extra cost would be less than the rental car. The Volt seems to have better temperature control for the battery, from what I've read.
Yes, I'm looking for a 2013 or newer for that very reason. The claim is that it gives you up to 25 miles more range in the winter than the resistance heaters only, as in the 2011 and 2012 models. I do understand that under 0°F/15°C a heat pump becomes less efficient than a resistance heater. But there are plenty of times that it will be warmer than 0°F/15°C and I'll need heat. There are just going to be plenty of days where it's also below that.

As far as trips go, I'm afraid that charging stations won't work for me. Denver is over 200 miles away, and I have to drive over the Continental Divide and drop over 6,000ft into Denver, and then climb that back up. And between here and Denver there are no charging stations. I'm not near the interstate, just pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. If there were some charging stations in South Park I might be able to make it work.

However, I would love to invent some kind of pusher trailer for a Leaf. If there's no option to use just electricity, well I'm going to have to burn fuel somehow. Might as well as be in the Leaf. But I foresee a lot of potential problems doing that.

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Originally Posted by roosterk0031 View Post
I'm pretty sure a Mirage has a electic boost HVAC heater, really easy slip in the hole engine block heater, and $3500 rebate till the end of March 2016. If my cobalt xfe was ready for replacement I'd be all over one. I priced a CVT ES at 10,800 out the door, you really don't need Cruise control, and if could get by with a manual I'm sure you could beat that but $1000+.
Yes, I agree. The Mirage is the best bang-for-buck. Just doing some quotes, I see I can get a 2015 as-basic-as-it-gets Mirage for $13,830. I'm not sure if that's including the $3,500 rebate, but it's still pretty good for a new car. Compared to the Leaf, I can get a 2013 for under $9,000 with around 30,000 miles on it after the tax credit. But add in a level 2 charger and the need to find other ways to go far once in a while and the Leaf now costs more in the long run.

However, if I keep one of the current vehicles that I have (choice right now between a 1972 Super Beetle, a 1985 VW Golf and a 2001 Chevy Astro) and a Leaf, I think that would be the most economic, for now, with the advantage of owning a newer car. Plus I'd have an electric car! There's just something about having an electric that intrigues me. Maybe it's not the best choice. Maybe a VW diesel isn't the best choice either. Nor my air-cooled Beetle. But I'm just that kind of guy who likes things that are different. (e.g. Windows Phone.) A Mirage is just another typical gasoline car to me. There's nothing about it that says, "Hey, it's time to think outside of the box!"

Obviously it would be most economical to just drive the cars I have until they completely dead. But that isn't exactly the most comfortable. The Golf has a leaky roof, needs painted and re upholstered, and has several electrical and other problems. (Hey! It's got over 500,000 miles on it! What would you expect.) The Bug is great, but not that practical. I need a four door for most of my work and for my family. The Astro would be good to pull a Leaf if I do actually get one, to the mechanic in Denver if need be. It's also confortable and will hopefully have air-conditioning for trips down to Denver in the Summer. And for just a few times a year it's not going to use that much fuel.

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Old 03-06-2016, 07:57 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary View Post
...
However, if I keep one of the current vehicles that I have (choice right now between a 1972 Super Beetle, a 1985 VW Golf and a 2001 Chevy Astro) and a Leaf, I think that would be the most economic, for now, with the advantage of owning a newer car. Plus I'd have an electric car! There's just something about having an electric that intrigues me. Maybe it's not the best choice. Maybe a VW diesel isn't the best choice either. Nor my air-cooled Beetle. But I'm just that kind of guy who likes things that are different. (e.g. Windows Phone.) A Mirage is just another typical gasoline car to me. There's nothing about it that says, "Hey, it's time to think outside of the box!"
...
It sounds like the Leaf is an appropriate choice, definitely not a terrible one.
It also it sounds like you really want one.
So if you went with something else you are going to feel like you settled for something less that what you really wanted.
People buy cars all the time that are less than ideal for their situation (giant 4wd tanks to drive 2 miles to pick up the kids from school). In your case there is much to support going with a Leaf but the biggest thing going for it is that it sounds like it would make you happy.
There would need to be a very compelling case before i would choose a car that didn't make me happy.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Astro View Post
It sounds like the Leaf is an appropriate choice, definitely not a terrible one.
It also it sounds like you really want one.
So if you went with something else you are going to feel like you settled for something less that what you really wanted.
People buy cars all the time that are less than ideal for their situation (giant 4wd tanks to drive 2 miles to pick up the kids from school). In your case there is much to support going with a Leaf but the biggest thing going for it is that it sounds like it would make you happy.
There would need to be a very compelling case before i would choose a car that didn't make me happy.
Right. The most, most economical choice would be to sell all the cars and just ride bicycles everywhere. And although I do that during the summer, I wouldn't be to happy riding a bicycle at -20°F. And although a Tesla Model S would be awesome, it would be too expensive, and overkill. Maybe I should stop blabbering here and go down to the car dealer instead.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:58 AM   #24 (permalink)
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First understand my words are NOT agenda driven.

YOU will not see 500k miles on any electric car, without SEVERAL battery replacements.

YOU might see 500k miles on a Mirage and I have seen over 50 mpg on round trips of less than 6 miles, without any multi 1000 dollar battery replacements, which is what you have done with one of your cars (500k miles).

The TCO scale depends on fuel cost. From your posts I think you will get the Leaf and the 10 miles each way drive will not give you any problems unless the battery is on it's last leg.

In my observation the key factor is the wifes "no highway" restriction which tips the scales in favor of the Leaf.

In Virginia you can drive an antique car 250 miles for your home, registration is permanent (no tag renewal) and insurance is very cheap. It might be an alternative for your longer drives, or a towed charger. Also as more and more electrics get on the road, charging stations will become more available.

Good luck regardless of your decision, if it was my decision I would get the Leaf, but it would be with the understanding that at 10/100 miles it will probably cost as much as the car is worth for a battery replacement.

regards
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Right. The most, most economical choice would be to sell all the cars and just ride bicycles everywhere. And although I do that during the summer, I wouldn't be to happy riding a bicycle at -20°F.
Someone needs to advocate for an EV conversion of your Superbeetle.

Electric Volkswagen Beetle - The Quietest VW Bug ever


If you haven't started watching EVTV (evtv.me or Youtube), start. They cover things like new sales statistics, battery chemistry, safety and a number of things you need on background. (2yr-old off-lease Leafs are killing new Leaf sales) They promote OEM components in conversion builds. They like the Tesla subframe and are working toward offering kits. Your charger[s] (Volt), heater (Eberspächer), DC-DC inverter, CHAdeMO charging ports & etc. can come from a junkyard or parts counter at a much better cost/performance ratio that blows away the parts used in EV conversions years past. Lots of hard-won wisdom like 'when the [heated/cooled] battery boxes are in, the conversion is half done'.

Your typical VW EV conversion puts a motor on the VW transaxle that overpowers the car and burns out clutches and never uses three of the five gears. They sell the clutch-shredding as an 'EV grin'. There exists a thread Hotrodding the Toyota MGR. I suppose a 68hp single-speed 10,000rpm drivetrain (with massive cables) can replace the 36hp gas engine at equal weight and performance. Here is the raw part in a VW engine bay.


Right now I'm working out the engine mounts, then when the axle half-shafts are sorted it will be down to the electrical work, using MPaulHolmes' open-source AC controller. Once everything is mocked up, it could transfer to my '71 Super or it could put the '58 on '71 pan back on the road, since the suspension is the same.

This is actually plan B. Plan A is for Arcimoto to ship product. SRK8 #166 has my name on it. Even the open-framed base model is rideable in the rain (the windshield is 27" across at the base), but on snow packed streets tricycles have a disadvantage...

Last edited by freebeard; 03-06-2016 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
First understand my words are NOT agenda driven.

YOU will not see 500k miles on any electric car, without SEVERAL battery replacements.
How I would *LOVE* to argue ...

... instead I'll make up some stuff, since I don't know.

The battery is the obvious 'weak link'. But there are other maintenance issues that will appear for the Leaf.

As the cars age, and the owners have them repaired ... and they post about it!! ... the tribal knowledge online (not the Nissan technical knowledge that we don't have access to) will accumulate and many of the silly things will be solvable - like getting the battery capacity reset so you can use more of your range .. or you can add a parallel pack to boost range

With the number of Leaf wrecks available .. and a group of motivated people reverse-engineering the systems so that parts from wrecks can be re-used ... I expect that a replacement pack, with more capacity, will be available as a kit upgrade within 5 years.

IMHO Cheap and plentiful parts from wrecks are an untapped resource!
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:49 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Now is the best time to get one. There is a big selection of them on ebay and reserve is not being met on one's up for auction.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:01 PM   #28 (permalink)
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IMHO Cheap and plentiful parts from wrecks are an untapped resource
Jehu Garcia bought 'dead' laptop batteries, harvested the 18650 cells and found maybe 60% of them viable. Maybe one of these is on the market:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota...ond_generation

A little SUV with Tesla Model S parts.
Quote:
A total of 2,489 units were sold in the U.S. through April 2015.
If it needs batteries Kia Soul EV batteries will drive a Tesla motors, but has higher energy density. Batteries will only get better.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:55 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Jehu Garcia bought 'dead' laptop batteries, harvested the 18650 cells and found maybe 60% of them viable.
Last I saw on his videos, he had to invest a lot of labor and time to test, charge and discharge, assemble, solder, etc.

I'm a bit too lazy for that

Quote:
Maybe one of these is on the market:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota...ond_generation

A little SUV with Tesla Model S parts.
The Toyota RAV4's in Canada are quite rare. I've yet to see the EV version outside of British Columbia. The one or two I saw on Kijiji were commanding a premium price - over $5K at the time, with >150K miles.

Quote:
If it needs batteries Kia Soul EV batteries will drive a Tesla motors, but has higher energy density. Batteries will only get better.
I've not seen the KIA EV in Canada so far. None in wrecker listings or auctions, Kijiji ... maybe eventually.

Heck, I can't seem to win an ebay auction on Leaf parts - motor, battery, charger, etc
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:16 PM   #30 (permalink)
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A VW Super Beetle or standard Air-Cooled Beetle would be a prime candidate for an EV conversion. But I am trying to get away from doing all this work and modifying personally. I used to do all my own mechanical work. But more and more I'm getting to lazy or just don't have the time to do it myself. Shop the idea of a factory made behind appeals to me right now.

However, I'd have never thought to look for wrecked EV's for parts. That could be quite economical. But speaking of economical EV's, from what I've read, there are a few dealers out there trying to get rid of some perfectly fine Leafs for as little as $5,000. Searching online I've seen some in the $7,000 range. Now take 24% off of that with the CO tax rebate and I could potentially have a perfectly fine Leaf (with all the amenities of a modern car) for less than $4,000, without heading to do any more than get the car from some state like Georgia to Colorado.

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