A search on Carvana did not produce a post along the lines of this post, but it is quite likely I did not look deep enough. Surely I can't be the first to pursue this.
I recently purchased a 2016 Leaf SV from Carvana. I picked a vehicle with 14000 miles on it and all 12 bars showing ( a rarity I will get into in a minute ). When I checked for the SOH number, it was 83%. Since 85% is roughly the cutoff for 12 bars, it was likely we were there. Within several days, the 12th segment went out. I returned the vehicle, since that was an indication that the vehicle would soon not get the mileage to suit my needs. Not to mention, a battery not treated well.
Since then, Carvana and I have been working through what sort of information needs to be supplied in order to make an intelligent choice. Most of the Leaf vehicles posted on the site do not show the battery capacity bars ( never the SOH number ). They light up the instrument panel on every vehicle enough to get a picture of the mileage, but not enough to show battery bars. All the vehicles show a full instrument panel, most not with the vehicle turned on, strange isn't the word for it. The majority of the time I have to put in a request to get a picture of the full lit instrument panel, and most often, by the time they get back with a picture, if they do at all, the vehicle is gone.
I even went into the need for them to know the SOH when they buy the vehicle in order to price it accurately. They still consider low mileage as a prime reason to price higher, even with no idea of battery capacity. I can understand their problem since most of these are bought at auction coming off lease. They will either continue to be oblivious to what is needed to sell EVs, or they will realize that there are vehicles that they can't price by normal measure. They will eventually get negative push-back from people that realize what Carvana should have been telling them about the battery and expected range. Improve or exit.
So, the strategy I am considering is to concentrate on vehicles with 20 – 25K miles. If they have that many miles and still show 12 bars ( when I can get them ), the chances of advanced battery degradation are less. Since I have no reason to think they will ever try to get a SOH number ( and I have told them how ), I am left with an option that has been offered, even though absurd on its face. One of their selling points is that you have 7 days to return the vehicle for whatever reason. So, several representatives have suggested I buy the vehicle and if I don't like the battery bars, when I see them for the first time after the vehicle has been delivered, I can refuse delivery. You are only allowed 4 returns. By that time you have already paid for the vehicle ( so you get a full refund ) but you have had to get insurance on the vehicle, so that money is lost. Obviously a last choice, if I play that game at all.
I have a choice between picking a vehicle with 12 bars showing ( If they do show, or if I can get them before the vehicle is gone ) and 20 – 25K miles to minimize chances of degradation. Or I can use up my 3 returns left to get something with 12 – 15K miles and just return it if the numbers are ugly. Maybe they would not even have to unload it if the would allow me to check the SOH while still on the truck. They should since the vehicle is already mine at that point.
As for Carvana in general. I like the idea. Customers reps have all been great and offered to do whatever they can. They have passed my concerns to supervisors and teams responsible for representing the vehicles. They all get back to me with the best intentions. Just nothing changes. When I look for Leaf's for sale. Carvana has the most. Carmax has several vs Carvana's 8 to 12. Carmax wants 500 to 700 dollars to transfer them from wherever and they are the same vehicles they have had for months. Carvana just doesn't want to do what is needed to market Evs.
Comments? Is my perspective realistic? Should I just give up and go back to kicking tires, if I can find them?