Advise on buying new electric car

Discussion in 'General' started by interestedinEV, Jun 30, 2018.

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  1. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    I have been looking at buying a EV and been trying to do my reserach on the best option. I live in Arizona, which really has no state incentives other than an ability to get an HOV lane plate. The local utility has a $3000 incentive on the Nissan Leaf. The usage is going to be around 25 miles round trip daily during week days (work and back), plus some additional errands, say 200 miles a week.

    1) Telsa 3, say I get it in 5 months, about $60,000 out of the door, I believe it is over hyped and not really sure that I want to put down so much now (so I am not interested in the Jaugar i-pace either due to high price)
    2) Nissan Leaf 2018 , about $3-5000 of MSRP, so say $33,000 out of the door for a SV which is about $say 250 on a lease
    3) BMW i3, dealer is at bout $350 for a 3 year lease with $2500 down
    4) Talked to the Ford dealer for a Focus, but seem to show no interest really, it would be a custom order and not sure Ford wants to see this car.
    5) Hyundai dealer told me they do not sell such cars in Arizona, but if I were to buy it in California, I could get it serviced here.
    6) Mixed feelings about the Bolt. Seems a little over priced and the dealers do not have much stock and do not seem to want to really push it. May be like the Focus not a priority

    I am just mulling over options, should I wait for a year or two for more cars to be available or the shadowy Tesla model 3 for $35,000, lease a car today and wait it out for say 3 years before I actually buy one, or take a plunge now and the most attractive appears to the Leaf. What I am told is manufacturer lease and lending rates are much better in California. So any ideas or suggestions welcome.
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  3. 101101

    101101 Well-Known Member

    My thought is go with a company that is a pure EV provider that has the financial muscle to stay in business. That means your options are
    Tesla and some Chinese start ups. It is curious that Nissan still only wants to make the Leave version available when you look a their China Silphy you can see a serious offering and that is due to their Chinese partner actually being serious about EVs. Otherwise EV hobbles styling with stupid hatchback type stuff to make it seem cheap. They don't anything challenging their ICE machines or even worse their ICE hybrids.
    Really disappointed in them. Hope Chinese offerings are available soon in states. Want Hyundai to do a better offering. Good luck.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    • I live in Arizona, which really has no state incentives other than an ability to get an HOV lane plate.
    • The local utility has a $3000 incentive on the Nissan Leaf.
    • The usage is going to be around 25 miles round trip daily during week days (work and back), plus some additional errands, say 200 miles a week.
    I live in Alabama with a liquid cooled, BMW i3-REx, and air-cooled Prius Prime. The liquid cooled BMW has been nearly immune to cold and hot temperatures. At a charge rate of ~7.4 kW, the heating and cooling are a fraction of the charging load. The battery gets a distance charge during the session.

    In contrast, the air cooled, Prius Prime has cold weather, unexpected engine ON events, and above 85-90 F, a lot of car air conditioner operation including when parked and on a charger. Worse, the 3.4 kW charge rate often shows significant delays to get the cabin and battery temperature right.

    My recommendation favors liquid cooled battery and +7 kW charge rate. This gives better efficiency when charging because the environmental load is less so the car actually puts EV miles into the battery.

    BTW, I would also recommend looking at end-of-lease, BMW i3-REx, $20-23k. They are kept in good condition and after the initial 2014 model year, a lot of factory improvements. For details:

    Bob Wilson
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Arizona is literally the worst place to own a Leaf, due to the frequently reported problem with premature battery aging when the car gets hot and stays hot. If you do get a Leaf, make sure it's only a lease, so you can get out of it in just a few years if the battery goes bad.

    With daily mileage that low, just about any highway-capable street-legal plug-in EV -- either BEV or PHEV -- should suit your needs. You should look at other concerns, such as comfort and ease of use (take a test drive), availability of service departments if you need one, ability to haul cargo or people if you need that. Get the car that best suits your needs and wants, not ours!

    Your various comments about wanting a lower price would in general rule out any Tesla car, unless you can get a really good deal on an older used Model S. If the Chevy Bolt is iffy for you because you want a lower price, then I suggest that you might be better off looking at used cars in general. I would suggest a used Leaf if you didn't live in Arizona. As it is, you might look into a used Chevy Volt PHEV. With that short 25 mile commute, you should rarely burn gas in the thing. But you should check your local market for used EVs. Who knows? You might get lucky and find a low-mileage used VW eGolf or Kia Soul EV.

    I'd be leery of looking seriously at a Ford Focus Electric, because that car is so rare (and Ford doesn't seem much interested in EVs in general) that their service departments might not service it properly. At least talk to one or two people in the local Ford dealer's service department(s) to see what they have to say about that.

  6. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I took a buddy to drive EV's today, we drove I3, he did not like it (looks, price, and ride quality) Bolt, did not even make it out of the parking lot (too expensive, and not attractive) 2018 Nissan Leaf SV with tech, and cold weather package, sticker price, $36,403, and we got it for $30,550, had android auto/apple car play, Pro Pilot, automatic emergency braking, really nice and well equipped car for the money, so he bought it. I had fun driving it around playing with Pro Pilot, and the adaptive cruise control. Its a great car for the money, and even comes with a 240V ESVE, so all we had to do is install a NEMA 1450 plug in his garage, took me 2 hours and $50 in parts. Oh, I forgot to add he got 0% financing 0 down.... Its like a free loan... awesome! Car shopping on the last day of a quarter is always advisable, as everyone is trying to make their numbers. IMG_1475.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
    Domenick likes this.
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  8. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Is this in Arizona or a different state, as the dealer I have been talking to says it is one other a rebate of about $5,000 which would put the SV with tech package at abut $34.000 out of the door but not that plus the 0%. I am told that rebates are different in different states.
  9. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    We are in WA state, there was $2000 Nissan rebate, but we intentionally went to buy it on the last day of the quarter, and planned to squeeze the dealer hard, which we did. It took several rounds of negotiation and threatening to leave twice, the first time we got all the way to the door. I negotiate contracts all the time for work, and consider it art... I think I embarrassed my friends who were the actual buyers, but I had fun negotiating. We set a go or no go price up front which I was able to beat by about $1500. We got just over $5800 off the price, and did not pay for the door edge guards, and other things the dealer had added.
  10. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Got it, WA I believe has a sales tax, so at this stage I am getting $5,000 off what you are telling me is that there is some more room to negotiate. Thanks
  11. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Arizona only allows HOV plates for a BEV not a PHEV, so that would be a reason to prefer BEV as this would allow my wife to use the HOV lanes during peak hours, which is when she uses. Let me look for used cars
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  13. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Yes, WA has 10.3% sales tax at the car dealership. but I did not include tax and license in the figures, I just calculated discount from sticker price. If you are at 5K discounted from sticker, you are in the hunt, might get a bit more... My buddy did get 0% for 72 months too, he had the money to pay cash, but I told him to put that cash and his 7500 tax credit in a 3% CD (just taking out enough to make the payments), and let NISSAN continue to subsidize his ride... :)~

    I was really Impressed with the Leaf, it drives great, and for a person just commuting its the perfect car. I have a Jaguar I-Pace on order, no discounts on those for the first year or so unfortunately.
  14. If you're leasing, I would say LEAF, if the shorter range (151 miles) isn't a deal breaker. If buying, I'd try to stick to something with a liquid-cooled battery pack.
    People seem to have great things to say about the Spark EV, if a small, used car works for you.
  15. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I ran the numbers both ways for my buddy and it looks better to buy... with 0% financing, and since he was planning to pay cash. If he gets 3% (Easy) on his money that get the price down thats $3850 over 4 years, and the $7500 tax rebate, plus the 4 year EV savings over his Huyndai he had another $6K, if he can sell the Leaf in 4 years and 50K miles for 16K which should be able to, the car will have been free to use as his money was just sitting in a savings account collecting nothing. My buddy is not a road tripper, he just commutes back and forth to work, shopping etc... The 2018 Leaf is a pretty nice car... and if you are not DC charging it often the air cooled battery is no problem. The Pro Pilot works well, and will be a key to selling it in 4 years I thing as there will not be any EV with driver assist for 16K.
  16. I just worry about the LEAF battery in the heat. Maybe it's fine, but Arizona is pretty hot and I'd hate to personally recommend something and then a problem arises. So, as a compromise, I suggest leasing to take all the worry out of it.

    I guess I should look for some owner experiences from AZ and see if anyone reports problems. It would be nice to be able to recommend it without an asterisk since everything else about it is pretty good.
  17. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Here is what I found, Nissan is not offering great lease deals, the residual is very low and the monthly payments are in $500+ range. BMW is offering a better deal on i3 which is around the $400 range. What I was told by more than one dealer is that lease rates are better and discounts are more in California rather than Arizona. One person suggested that if I had a California address, I could get much better rates than what we get here. Not sure how much is fact but manufacturers need to sell more EV in California and there is no pressure for that in Arizona. So that is where I am stuck, cannot lease the Leaf, have to buy it.
  18. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I always temper my recommendations as well, every person has a different situation, and for some what is a great car for them, is not a great car for others. The only people I have heard that have trouble with Leaf's is what I call "power users" ones that want to take it on long road trips, and DC charge often. I doubt my buddy will ever DC charge, car is garaged, so easy to charge, and for commuting in hot weather is not a problem. Lets face it, Leaf is a commuter car, and anyone buying it for more that that is most likely going to be disappointed. Buy a Bolt if you have longer trips, and want to do more DC charging, but Bolt, will cost you 30% more, and No Pro Pilot.
  19. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I3 is cute, but lacks a lot of Leaf capabilities.
  20. Personally, I think I prefer the i3 to the LEAF. It's smaller, sure, and definitely odder looking. The ride isn't as plush as the LEAF, and the range isn't nearly as good. Price-wise, I think the LEAF is a better value.
    I know it doesn't make sense written out like this, but cars invite emotional responses, and I enjoyed my time in the i3 more. Most people should probably go with the LEAF. And when the 2016 LEAF drops with the larger, liquid-cooled battery, it will be the hands-down winner between the two (three if you include the Bolt).
    David Green likes this.
  21. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Agree... I like the Leaf better then I3 today, but I am old and practical. But the Leaf with 60Kwh, and liquid cooling will be awesome, but I guess $40K+ too, which is money you cannot recover in value. I think the Leaf 60Kwh will kill any reason to buy a Bolt, and GM will once again be behind... Hope they have something in the pipeline soon.
  22. + 100!!!

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