ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
3/30/14 11:04 p.m.
bastomatic wrote:
pjbgravely wrote: In reply to bastomatic: If I did the math correctly, at 2.9 miles per Kwh, driving 100 mile at $.14 Kwh gives me $14 total cost. Using my cars lifetime mpg of 25, and the current cost of fuel at $3.80 a gallon, gives my average cost of driving 100 miles at $15.20. This makes the electric car a better value.
Your math is wrong for the EV. The cost for 100 miles with your rate would be about $4.83. That's about $100 a month in fuel cost savings if you're driving the 12,000 miles a year most leases assume.

Additionally, the true cost for the gas vehicle is even higher... oil changes, belts, coolant, trans fluid, air filter, etc. all add up.

pjbgravely
pjbgravely Reader
3/30/14 11:36 p.m.
bastomatic wrote:
pjbgravely wrote: In reply to bastomatic: If I did the math correctly, at 2.9 miles per Kwh, driving 100 mile at $.14 Kwh gives me $14 total cost. Using my cars lifetime mpg of 25, and the current cost of fuel at $3.80 a gallon, gives my average cost of driving 100 miles at $15.20. This makes the electric car a better value. In the coldest part of the winter driving in below 0 F temps and through snow my car dropped to 21mpg. I doubt if the electric car's range would stay at 1/2 it's summer distance in such conditions.
Your math is wrong for the EV. The cost for 100 miles with your rate would be about $4.83. That's about $100 a month in fuel cost savings if you're driving the 12,000 miles a year most leases assume. For winter range, I can personally say that in the worst parts of this winter in Detroit, I had about 50 miles of range total, as compared with about 90 on a perfect day. As for your other question, we are seeing 2011 leafs off lease selling for about $14k or less at auction, some with under 10k miles.

Thanks, your math is better, now I see where I went wrong. The range is still the problem for me, in winter and for long trips to doctors and such I would still need a gasoline vehicle. I have a truck as a second vehicle but that gets horrible gas mileage and I use it for hauling only.

If I get a job at 25 miles or less from home I will consider an EV in the future. Otherwise I am going to look at a fuel efficient gas or diesel car.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
3/31/14 9:24 a.m.

pjbgravely,
If you commute more than 25 miles and have very cold weather to deal with, then a car like the Leaf probably wouldn't suit your needs.

My commute is exactly 25 miles. My Leaf can make it just fine, but on the coldest winter days (0 in the morning, 15 in the day) it sucks up a good part of the battery. My numbers are fairly similar to what bastomatic reports, maybe slightly higher. But for me, the Leaf can handle 95%+ of my driving needs. The very few times it can't, I use my wife's car or our minivan.

We don't have a public charging infrastructure to speak of where I live. I do all my charging at home, at $.08/hr. If there were public charging, I wouldn't feel all that bad about using it.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
4/2/14 12:44 p.m.

OK folks, I just saw SmartforTwo electric lease at $139. That sounds crazy. Tell me about what you know. Is it a compliance car?

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
4/2/14 12:53 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: OK folks, I just saw SmartforTwo electric lease at $139. That sounds crazy. Tell me about what you know. Is it a compliance car?

$2k down, $139 a month = $194 a month. Is that competitive with other leases?

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-smart-fortwo-electric-drive-first-drive-review

C&D said: Here’s how you get below 10 grand for your purchase price: Find a dealer who will kick in the full $2000 marketing assistance (dealer incentive), then factor in the $7500 federal tax credit and an additional $2500 if you live in California, and you can drive off in a new electric Smart for less than $9000.

Woah. Almost tempting, if I lived in one of those states. But my understanding is i'd need to continue to pay the $80/month battery protection fee? That kinda blows.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
6/18/14 8:01 p.m.

Bumping this thread.

Still love the Leaf for a daily driver. I've been better about finding free recharging when we go out for errands - the wife thinks it's a fun game - and more public stations have popped up in Detroit. My employer just built a new parking deck with six free dedicated Level 2 stations too.

Over the last month, my dedicated house meter shows I spent about $15 to recharge, and I drove 825 miles in that same time - not too shabby.

In less enthusiastic news, I had to have the driver-side front strut and control arm replaced after the Leaf developed a loud squeak over bumps. That and the heater earlier makes two rather large repairs in the first 6000 miles.

wbjones
wbjones UltimaDork
6/19/14 6:02 a.m.

those don't fall under the warranty ?

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
6/19/14 7:17 a.m.

My Leaf is still doing well too. I had a A/C refrigerant line replaced under warranty. Other than that, it's been completely flawless.

Ten thousand miles so far!

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
6/19/14 8:19 a.m.

My Leaf is now sitting at Copart, soon to be sold and have it's organs harvested. The hailstorm we had 3 weeks ago gave it a very serious beating. It was at 12,000 completely trouble free miles, and I loved each one.

I won't be replacing it with another, as we're moving next week and my new job has a 50 mile each way commute. However, I'm sold on electrics, enough that I'm having a 220 line installed in the garage of the new construction house we're building. I expect in the very near future electric cars with 150+ mile ranges will fall into my price range. When they do, I'll be back in the market.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
6/19/14 7:58 p.m.
wbjones wrote: those don't fall under the warranty ?

They do. But considering the boasting on EV forums about the superiority in reliability over ICE vehicles, I thought the repairs were worth mentioning.

wbjones
wbjones UltimaDork
6/20/14 6:01 a.m.

gotcha … the way I had read your post, they were pricy repairs (which sounded like you had to pay for them) … though I do understand that it cost you time

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
6/20/14 10:38 a.m.
Klayfish wrote: However, I'm sold on electrics, enough that I'm having a 220 line installed in the garage of the new construction house we're building. I expect in the very near future electric cars with 150+ mile ranges will fall into my price range. When they do, I'll be back in the market.

I don't have any electric car experience, but I generally agree. When I rennovate the electric system in my house, I plan on adding a 30A 220V disconnect switch in my garage for a future EV charging station. My hope/theory is that within a few years or so, EV's will increase in range and drop in price enough to make one viable for my ~100 mile commute.

dyintorace
dyintorace UberDork
6/20/14 10:44 a.m.

This thread has become much more interesting to me. My daughter enters 9th grade next year at a magnet high school. It is a ~30 mile round trip that will likely be undertaken by my wife frequently. We're going to try to carpool as much as we can, but haven't found any other students nearby as of yet.

In thinking through hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, any suggestions on the best method of comparison? We would most likely buy used, as we prefer to pay cash and not have a monthly payment. A quick glance shows several used Chevy Volts in the $17k-$20k range and used Leafs around $15k. Of all the options I've shown my wife, she is least thrilled about a Prius, so that's probably out.

Thoughts/advice/insight welcomed!

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
6/20/14 10:50 a.m.
dyintorace wrote: This thread has become much more interesting to me. My daughter enters 9th grade next year at a magnet high school. It is a ~30 mile round trip that will likely be undertaken by my wife frequently. We're going to try to carpool as much as we can, but haven't found any other students nearby as of yet. In thinking through hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, any suggestions on the best method of comparison? We would most likely buy used, as we prefer to pay cash and not have a monthly payment. A quick glance shows several used Chevy Volts in the $17k-$20k range and used Leafs around $15k. Of all the options I've shown my wife, she is least thrilled about a Prius, so that's probably out. Thoughts/advice/insight welcomed!

Do math! I made a spreadsheet with repair, maintenance, fuel costs, gas prices, etc. A Leaf is cheaper to lease for me than buying a dirt cheap Suburban, for example, and it was within spiting distance of buying the previous vehicle used (PT Cruiser), owning it for five years, maintaining/fueling it, and then selling it.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
6/20/14 12:56 p.m.

Yup, follow Tuna's advice. Caution with buying a used electric only vehicle. When it's battery dies, you're left with either an expensive piece of yard art or a repair bill well into the thousands. That's why over 90% of Leafs are leased. Consider a lease. With the commute you describe, the Leaf is a perfect fit.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
6/20/14 1:37 p.m.

I'm not sure the batteries are quite the fear they are made out to be.

For one, since longevity is a concern and somewhat unknown, the manufacturers seems to be programming the charging and discharge system on the conservative side.

Second, where there is a need, the aftermarket will fill it. For example, you can already get Prius batteries from Rockauto. Are they cheap? No. But less than a rebuilt engine. Give them a couple more years and the Leaf will be on there as well (just checked - no listing at all for the Leaf yet).

Cotton
Cotton UltraDork
6/20/14 1:59 p.m.

I looked into electric motorcycles, but the range went down pretty drastically when factoring in a lot of highway miles on the commute, which is a little over 2/3rds of my commute, so for now I'm sticking with the 44MPG 1300cc gas bike as my commuter.

Another issue was cost. The SR cost more than my new k1300s, with way less options and features, and there is not currently a government incentive to buy them like there are for cars.

I was looking specifically at the Zero SR http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/specs.php

dyintorace
dyintorace UberDork
6/20/14 2:20 p.m.
tuna55 wrote:
dyintorace wrote: This thread has become much more interesting to me. My daughter enters 9th grade next year at a magnet high school. It is a ~30 mile round trip that will likely be undertaken by my wife frequently. We're going to try to carpool as much as we can, but haven't found any other students nearby as of yet. In thinking through hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, any suggestions on the best method of comparison? We would most likely buy used, as we prefer to pay cash and not have a monthly payment. A quick glance shows several used Chevy Volts in the $17k-$20k range and used Leafs around $15k. Of all the options I've shown my wife, she is least thrilled about a Prius, so that's probably out. Thoughts/advice/insight welcomed!
Do math! I made a spreadsheet with repair, maintenance, fuel costs, gas prices, etc. A Leaf is cheaper to lease for me than buying a dirt cheap Suburban, for example, and it was within spiting distance of buying the previous vehicle used (PT Cruiser), owning it for five years, maintaining/fueling it, and then selling it.

A major input to the math is the anticipated cost of the used vehicle in X number of years. If I buy a 2012 Leaf for $15k today, what will it be worth in 3 years? Hard to know.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
6/20/14 2:23 p.m.

Ian, You're right in that the batteries are programmed conservatively. The Leaf battery never fully drains, nor completely charges to the very limit (at least from what I've read). Battery care is still a key. Leaving it fully charged for long times, extreme temps, etc...are still bad for them.

I agree the aftermarket will drive prices down, but not to "cheap" levels. Batteries for the 1G Insight are still $2000 for the cheapest, lowest quality. That car came out nearly 15 years ago.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
6/20/14 2:39 p.m.
dyintorace wrote:
tuna55 wrote:
dyintorace wrote: This thread has become much more interesting to me. My daughter enters 9th grade next year at a magnet high school. It is a ~30 mile round trip that will likely be undertaken by my wife frequently. We're going to try to carpool as much as we can, but haven't found any other students nearby as of yet. In thinking through hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, any suggestions on the best method of comparison? We would most likely buy used, as we prefer to pay cash and not have a monthly payment. A quick glance shows several used Chevy Volts in the $17k-$20k range and used Leafs around $15k. Of all the options I've shown my wife, she is least thrilled about a Prius, so that's probably out. Thoughts/advice/insight welcomed!
Do math! I made a spreadsheet with repair, maintenance, fuel costs, gas prices, etc. A Leaf is cheaper to lease for me than buying a dirt cheap Suburban, for example, and it was within spiting distance of buying the previous vehicle used (PT Cruiser), owning it for five years, maintaining/fueling it, and then selling it.
A major input to the math is the anticipated cost of the used vehicle in X number of years. If I buy a 2012 Leaf for $15k today, what will it be worth in 3 years? Hard to know.

There are two ways to go about this. One, is to look at the lease numbers. The automakers guess pretty accurately, because that's the formula they are using to figure out the lease price... what they can sell it for in 2 or 3 years is a big part of that equation.

Two, is to look at the lease numbers... and then lease one. I know it sounds financially backwards, but owning an electric may not be the best option. You'll have to also do the math on a battery replacement every X years if you buy, whereas a lease not only gets you around that, but when the next gen LEAF gets double the range or something ridiculous, you aren't stuck with yesterday's tech. This is a bigger deal for EVs right now than it is for a typical sedan.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
6/20/14 4:05 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: ...but when the next gen LEAF gets double the range or something ridiculous, you aren't stuck with yesterday's tech. This is a bigger deal for EVs right now than it is for a typical sedan.

I've read this in a few places over the past couple of of years and it does make sense... unless you're me an you commute 30K+ miles a year. For me, part of an EV lease equation would be the ability to drive other fossil fuel cars to make up the difference - my classic 'toy' cars for example, which are technically restricted to "One day per week" by my PA Classic/Antique registration. But if I have three of them, plus my "bike van" (and eventually a MC), I might be able to make it work.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UltimaDork
6/20/14 5:41 p.m.
Cotton wrote: I looked into electric motorcycles, but the range went down pretty drastically when factoring in a lot of highway miles on the commute, which is a little over 2/3rds of my commute, so for now I'm sticking with the 44MPG 1300cc gas bike as my commuter. Another issue was cost. The SR cost more than my new k1300s, with way less options and features, and there is not currently a government incentive to buy them like there are for cars. I was looking specifically at the Zero SR http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/specs.php

Funnily enough I'm toying with the idea of a Zero DS as the range (on paper) is finally enough to cover the trip to work and back. Problem is, there is a mountain range in the way so even the one with the bigger battery pack might not carry enough of a charge.

I'm laos getting 55+ mpg with either the Harley or the Kawasaki I have so the running cost difference isn't as good as it first looks.

Due to the pass I have to go over to work and the fact that we tend to get weeks of single digit weather, commuting in an electric car is also pretty much out as the only one I'm aware of that has the necessary range would be a Tesla...

pjbgravely
pjbgravely Reader
6/20/14 9:37 p.m.

I just got a job that is 1.8 miles from home. I am currently driving my truck because the short drive will kill my Mustang. What I really need is an electric car. Unfortunately they are too expensive used right now. Even one with a almost dead battery would work. Maybe I will build one someday.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
6/21/14 7:51 a.m.
Klayfish wrote: Ian, You're right in that the batteries are programmed conservatively. The Leaf battery never fully drains, nor completely charges to the very limit (at least from what I've read). Battery care is still a key. Leaving it fully charged for long times, extreme temps, etc...are still bad for them. I agree the aftermarket will drive prices down, but not to "cheap" levels. Batteries for the 1G Insight are still $2000 for the cheapest, lowest quality. That car came out nearly 15 years ago.

Infrequent use isn't really good for any vehicle, electric or otherwise.

I was wrong about Rockauto - it's actually Dorman that is selling replacement batteries (got my parts vendors mixed up). I don't think pricing a 1G Insight is a good indicator. Honda didn't really make that many of those, especially compared to the Prius, so the demand and sales volume would be less. In comparison, a quick bit of googling found replacement Prius batteries (rebuilt) for under a grand. I might see a 1G Insight once a month (probably less). I'd run out of fingers and toes counting the number of Prius I see every day during my normal commute.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
6/22/14 6:21 p.m.
pjbgravely wrote: I just got a job that is 1.8 miles from home. I am currently driving my truck because the short drive will kill my Mustang. What I really need is an electric car. Unfortunately they are too expensive used right now. Even one with a almost dead battery would work. Maybe I will build one someday.

I don't think an EV makes much sense when you're driving that few of miles. Maybe an electric scooter or something like a Th!nk EV , but you're just not driving enough to make it worth your while.

That's the real problem with EVs. They make more financial sense the more miles you drive, but ability to commute long distances is severely limited by their range right now.

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