fasteddie911 wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:04 am
I too am considering a leaf and will use it for short range work too, 15mi/day or so. Battery degradation is a concern of mine, but the battery warranty of 8yrs for ~100mi of range or so is still pretty good capacity for me and may be a non-issue. Tack a few more years to make it to 10yrs and say it goes to 50% capacity, but even then that's do-able for me and I could still go a few days b/w charges. I'm not sure what I'm going to choose, but battery degradation issues haven't ruled it out a leaf for me yet.
Btw, maybe you know this, but talking to my uncle who owns a leaf on Oahu, there's a rebate going on now with the local electric company.
You're in a similar situation as we are, I'd say! And yes, the dealership had given us the heads-up on the rebate through the electric company, which was nice.
We ended up getting the Leaf, standard range. We delayed for a bit but my thinking was this: when does the thermal management really come into play? The two biggest stressors are probably fast charging, which we don't intend to do, and heavy driving on the freeway. Sure, the battery will be having higher output with some of the mountain driving that we have to do here, but in general - despite the constant heat (which feels worse due to humidity than it really is; it's rare that we get into the 90's) - thermal management might actually be a "wasted" feature for us. I'd certainly rather have it than not, but looking at the cost difference between the Leaf and cars like the Bolt or Model 3, for my wife's purposes it's probably not worth it. The eight-year warranty on the battery is also a major reassurance; I have no doubt that Nissan would try to screw us out of it if we needed it, but it's still there. (I do think it's a bit sleazy that they have you do annual "battery checkups" and charge "around $100" (or so they told us) for the test, which is a requirement to keep that battery warranty... but I guess they're looking to continue monetizing the car in some form. On the bright side, the first two checkups are free...)
Ultimately, what it also came down to was the fact that here in Hawaii the older model Leaf is still the most-seen BEV on the roads. Sure, I don't know exactly how old those cars are, whether they're on their second or third battery packs, or whether they're near-useless, but the fact that they're out and about in full force is reassuring for this climate. I've also seen a good number of the new Leafs on the road. Hawaii is a small place; if the original Leafs were performing horribly out here and/or if Nissan were bilking people badly then I don't think there would be so many. Tesla has a strong presence here, as well, and there are now some days when the Model 3 is my most-sighted BEV... which is saying something, considering that most days I easily see more than five BEVs (and I've even seen two in a row on multiple occasions; I think I've only seen three BEVs in a row once). But for the Leaf to have such a strong showing must mean that it's working well enough for most people.
Time will tell on the battery, but driving it home, I was very pleased. I've gone through quite a few cars (including rentals) and the Toyota Prius (gen 3) has been my absolute favorite for handling, utility, dimensions, and overall comfort. As I wrote before, if Toyota made an all-electric Prius I'd buy it in a heartbeat, but they don't have an all-electric anything and so here we are. Based on the specification sheets the Leaf is the closest BEV you can get to a Prius, and in driving it I felt almost as if it were handling like my Prius. It had more pep, as one might expect. (I keep my Prius largely locked in "Eco" mode, and put the Leaf into Eco mode as well - no doubt the Leaf would feel like some turbo vehicle to me if I took Eco off.) We'll see how it handles under more road conditions but for Prius lovers living in fair climates who won't be doing tons of heavy driving, I think the Leaf is the ideal BEV to jump to for now. The Bolt seems to be the closest to the Prius after that, but I didn't even check one out in person. I'm seeing more and more of them here in Hawaii, though, so no doubt they're popular as well...
Thanks all for your advice! Now I have a lot of reading to do, and will probably be posting more questions in the near future.