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Old 03-03-2016, 11:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Feasability of going from gas to only electric

I'm trying to simplify things and want to go with one car. I've always had two gasoline cars in case one broke down. I've never owned anything that was less than 15 years old either.

But anyhow, I've always wanted an EV. There are some used, low mileage Nissan Leafs I've been looking at. (And here in Colorado we still get a 24% tax credit since these are out of state Leafs!) Seems just right for the family. My wife won't drive out-of-town anyway since she's afraid of the highway. Plus with the no idle law the instant heat would be nice (and yes, I have a block heater on my other cars in car you were wondering, and no, I can't plug those in at work.)

I'm seriously thinking of getting a Leaf. Although I think I'll keep a gas back up for those out-of-town trips for now. But in reality I only go out of town about 6 times a year. Would it be feasible to just rent a car for the weekend when I did that? (Or take the bus?)

I guess this is a matter of opinion. But what do you think? All criticism accepted.

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Old 03-04-2016, 03:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do it.

A Leaf would cover 99% of my/family driving. I could live with catching a bus or renting car two or three times a year to visit extended family.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My brother in law has a Volt and he is the perfect user. He only drives short distances and hardly ever uses the gas engine backup. In fact the fuel mileage readout has read "over 250 mpg" for most of the car's life. A totally electric car would work just fine for him.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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With a brand spanking new Nissan Leaf, your total range on a charge will be from ~80-107 miles.

As the battery ages, that range goes down slowly.

As the weather gets cold, the range goes down.

As the roads get hillier, the range goes down.

If you park outside in the winter, the range goes down.

If you run the heat a lot, the range goes down.

If you drive in the dark (lights on) the range goes down a little.

If you rarely drive more than 40 or 50 miles, you should love the Leaf.


For longer trips, you can plan around quick charge stations to boost the range.


It's all about the range you need 98% of the time.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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GO FOR IT!

Just booked a rental on air miles. 1500 air miles is about $150 per week .. not sure how long your trips are. 6 times per year is under $1000, which is less than insurance up here.

We don't have EV service close (Saskatoon, Canada). Local nissan dealer sells used leafs but has not dished out the cash to equip the shop and train their techs.

So .. if a leaf needs service and is not fully charged, I'd have to trailer it 100 miles to a dealer. That's an issue.

GM dealer that sells the Volt is a crook, and has been for years. He'll happily replace the whole car one piece at a time .. and he has done that several times to others .. rather than do actual troubleshooting .. while your car doesn't work.

I wouldn't send my worst enemy to him for service. So the volt is out.

No other options besides build my own - and that's what I'm doing.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thingstodo View Post
GO FOR IT!

Just booked a rental on air miles. 1500 air miles is about $150 per week .. not sure how long your trips are. 6 times per year is under $1000, which is less than insurance up here.

We don't have EV service close (Saskatoon, Canada). Local nissan dealer sells used leafs but has not dished out the cash to equip the shop and train their techs.

So .. if a leaf needs service and is not fully charged, I'd have to trailer it 100 miles to a dealer. That's an issue.

GM dealer that sells the Volt is a crook, and has been for years. He'll happily replace the whole car one piece at a time .. and he has done that several times to others .. rather than do actual troubleshooting .. while your car doesn't work.

I wouldn't send my worst enemy to him for service. So the volt is out.

No other options besides build my own - and that's what I'm doing.
If you hadn't mentioned where you live I'd have guessed were live in the same town. Far away Nissan dealer, terrible GM dealer, etc.

Yes, one of the problems for me is that if I ever need to take it to a dealer it would be about 200 miles to one with the equipment to do it. But my brother has a truck and trailer.

As far as range goes, I need to go only some 10 miles per day, max. Maybe once in a while 20. I could maybe go once a year to a close by town that's 30 miles away (but there's a free bus to that town, so why would I have to drive there?) Were have a really small town. The problem is the cold. But I can't see the cold making a leaf get less than 10 miles range.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For the depreciation of the Leaf I drive my Mirage. The difference in property taxes and insurance compared to a Leaf, pays for my fuel up to 15k miles a year. The wife can keep driving her car longer which saves her much of the depreciation, keeping the car 7 or 8 years instead of replacing it every 3-4.

Obviously a much different situation from yours.

Sounds like a Leaf will work, but look at the total cost of ownership, with buying used the first step.

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Old 03-04-2016, 04:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
For the depreciation of the Leaf I drive my Mirage. The difference in property taxes and insurance compared to a Leaf, pays for my fuel up to 15k miles a year. The wife can keep driving her car longer which saves her much of the depreciation, keeping the car 7 or 8 years instead of replacing it every 3-4.

Obviously a much different situation from yours.

Sounds like a Leaf will work, but look at the total cost of ownership, with buying used the first step.

regards
mech
Thanks! My next choice would ba a Mirage! The biggest thing that attracts (and repels) me from getting a Leaf is the cold weather. It's below 0F most all January and February. On the one hand it would be nice to have instant heat. On my ICE car I do use a block heater. But it doesn't heat up the engine enough for instant heat even though I have a 1,500 watt model (normal they're 300 or 400W.) And I can't always plug in my vehicle everywhere I park. I figure that what I pay already in running the block heater I could just charge an electric car. The other thing is that there's an anti-idling law here. And with the town so small I don't ever get my car up to running temperature. Basically I scrape off the ice, drive to work freezing, trying not to breath on the windshield, and right as I'm pulling into the parking lot I can finally feel a twinge of heat. Mind you the temp gauge hasn't even moved yet, but I'm at work and I now have to turn off the car. Since I drive home after dark the return drive is worse. And this is the way it is in any car I've driven, although the big inefficient V8's do warm up a bit better than the little four cylinder cars that I prefer.

Of course the downside to having an electric car where it's so cold is the range. But with my 10 miles or less that I drive per day I don't think that would be a problem in a Leaf. If I do decide to keep an ICE car I'm going to have to get 1) a heated steering wheel, 2) heated seats and 3) and fuel burning engine preheater. But by the time I do all that a nice 2013 Leaf for $8,000 sounds pretty good to me.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
For the depreciation of the Leaf I drive my Mirage. The difference in property taxes and insurance compared to a Leaf, pays for my fuel up to 15k miles a year. The wife can keep driving her car longer which saves her much of the depreciation, keeping the car 7 or 8 years instead of replacing it every 3-4.

Obviously a much different situation from yours.

Sounds like a Leaf will work, but look at the total cost of ownership, with buying used the first step.

regards
mech
Trying to crunch numbers...

A 2014 Mirage goes for around $9,500.
If this car doesn't put out enough heat (it probably won't on 25mph streets at -40F/-40C) I'd have to add a preheater (around $3,000 installed). What about heated seats and steering wheel?
So far possibly $12,500.
For a few miles per day I'm probably going to spend around $30 per month in fuel. (About what I spend now in my Golf.) $360 per year. $3600 for 10 years.
Now we're at $16,100, possibly. Or maybe $12,600 depending on how well this thing heats.
Insurance and maintenance? (Help!)
So then I drive it for ten years and then sell it for the depreciated value of a 12 year old Mirage (that hopefully still runs fine. Probably will I guess.)

I can pick up a 2013 Leaf for around $11,000 or so. But I can still get a $2,500, more or less, tax credit making it about $8,500.
Hopefully the Leaf will put out good heat at -40F/-40C and still be able to go some 10 miles. (Otherwise I will have to find a brick wall to bang my head against.) But hey! Heated seats and steering wheel are included!
I wonder how much electricity these things will use up during the winter??
Insurance and maintenance? (Help!)
By the time 10 years have passed (13 years for the life of the Leaf) I'd take it I'd have already had to have replaced the battery (which goes for what? some $5,000 or so?) or it would be on its last leg and probably wouldn't be worth much.
That's about $13,500. Probably more with installation and all. Perhaps $14,500 up to now.
Oh! And don't forget to add $130 for a weekend rental of a gasoline car 6 times a year ($780) for ten years ($7,800).

So the verdict is? (I should have paid better attention in math class.)

Yes. It looks like the Mirage ($16,100) may be the cheaper and better option compared to the Leaf ($21,300). (But I wanted an electric! Waaaa!)

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Old 03-04-2016, 11:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Starting up cold and driving such a short distance sounds really hard on an ICE.

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