Thanks everyone for the replies! The conversation goes a bit beyond the Standard versus Plus, which is fine because admittedly I'm still mulling over some of these decisions. Answers to a few posts, out of their chronological order:
iPlug wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:26 pm
How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?
We've generally kept our standard cars for 10+ years, so my hope would be that the Leaf would last for at least a decade as well.
SageBrush wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:08 pm
Neither. A new LEAF is just way too expensive for an EV that loses 3-5% of range a year.
Choose a plug-in with at least an air cooled battery.
A Prius Prime would be close to a perfect fit for you.
The lack of a more intricate thermal management system is the #1 thing that bothers me about our decision to go with a Leaf. It's not only that it makes sense to give great attention to the battery's temperature, but it seems that every other manufacturer's EVs have such a system, so why shouldn't the Leaf? From what I've read the latest Leafs do have an air cooling system for the batteries, a seeming admission from Nissan that it matters and wasn't handled optimally before... but whether it's as good as Tesla's or Chevrolet's systems remains to be seen.
The biggest problem is the lack of data. Do Leafs have higher failure rates or battery degradation compared with other manufacturers? All that I can find are anecdotal experiences and theorizing. Salespeople from Nissan and Tesla don't seem to have any numbers to share.
What I do know is that there are a lot of EVs in Hawaii - enough that I've seen three in a row on the highway more than once - and there are a lot of earlier-generation Leafs still in use. I guess it makes me feel a bit better about things.
As for the Prius Prime option, that one is on the back of my mind as well. Given how long we hold on to cars, we'd prefer to go all-in with a BEV, partly for convenience (no need to do oil changes anymore) and largely for environmental reasons.
LeftieBiker wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:14 pm
Can you state your range needs in terms of maximum
daily miles and how much weight you are giving to cost? Sagebrush is at least somewhat right about battery degradation in your Island's heat, but if you will never lose enough range to matter, or would get a new battery under warranty, then the 40kwh Leaf would work if you want the EV experience and don't want to be lugging a gasoline engine around. I'm assuming that you won't be using DC Fast Charge...? The main advantage the 60kwh Leaf offers is range, plus being better able to do sequential DC fast charges on the same day.
The absolute longest drive we would ever do - and this would be something like once a year, if that - would be close to 90 miles. The average drive would be more around 7-8 miles per day. No plans to utilize fast charging.
I would say that we're cost-conscious but not constrained. We could buy a Model 3, and it's not entirely out of consideration, but we prefer the Leaf as it's a bit more Prius-like in its dimensions (cargo space and external dimensions). If Toyota made a fully electric Prius we probably wouldn't be here... but boy are they ever dragging their feet on electric vehicles. Oahu has the Mirai available to lease but we're not interested in going down that route, either... rambling aside, we can afford the Plus version, but it's not a few hundred dollars' difference and so we'd prefer not to spend a few thousand if we're really not going to be benefitting from it. I did look at the Chevrolet Bolt and the BMW i3 (the other two big options that we see around here), but didn't feel that they offered much over the Leaf or Model 3. I've started seeing some Audio e-Tron vehicles but we haven't looked into those. I've seen a few Mitsubishi MiEv's but their range is worse than the original Leaf, and they're not very aesthetically pleasing... and looking it up just now, it looks like it was discontinued two years ago. A shame they didn't give it similar treatment as Nissan did for the Leaf.
Ultimately the Leaf will be my wife's vehicle, and primarily a work commuter vehicle. I'm usually the driver for our other excursions, and when it's my turn to go for a fully electric vehicle it'll probably be a consideration between a Model X or Model Y with extended seating, or the Chrysler Portal (if and when it's released) to accommodate all family. It'll be a relief to not have the thermal management issue hanging over me when I have to decide for myself!
Again, thanks everyone for the questions and thoughts - it gives me some more things to discuss with my wife before we make a final decision. Any further thoughts, I'd love to hear them!