Buying my first ev

Discussion in 'General' started by Alex Soto, Aug 24, 2018.

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  1. Alex Soto

    Alex Soto New Member

    Hello, everyone, I was interested in buying an EV and was doing some research on which particular type of vehicle I wanted.
    My ultimate goal is to buy a Tesla, the Model 3 in particular, but I decided on first getting a used EV like the Leaf or the Fiat 500e. My main factor was price and the one that seems to win out is the 2011 Nissan Leaf. I looked into the Chevy, the Fiat, Kia, and others. Then I started to read about battery degradation and charging stations vs home charging. I'm starting to become overwhelmed by the whole experience.
    What put me off about getting the Tesla is the fact that the base model is not even in production. I can't afford the high-performance one and the issues with production on all the Model 3s has kind of put me off on buying it. So my thinking is getting a used EV for now and hopefully, within 2 or 3 years from now all the productions issues with the Model 3 will be resolved.
    Any input or sage advice will be greatly appreciated, thank you, Alex Soto.
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  3. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Hi Alex, buying the first EV is challenging, but there are many ways to analize what way to go in your specific situation. Do you have a set budget? Plan to pay cash or finance? What do you expect from your car? Are you looking more for a commuter? Long range? Do you take road trips? Would this be your families only vehicle?

    The second major considerations should be your own infrastructure, do you have a garage to park you car, and charge it daily? Access to 240V electrical close by? What kind of climate do you live in?

    If you are thinking about the Model 3, I would not worry so much about the production issues, the cars coming out today are hugely improved from just a few months ago, and you are running out of time to claim the full $7500 tax credit in the USA if you are eligible for that. The issue with the current Model 3 is just cost, and the lack of low rate financing.

    I wish you good luck, and hope you find an EV that fills all of your needs.
    Alex Soto likes this.
  4. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    I have been down this path. There are new BEV cars in the $35-40 K range but they are not Tesla. The Tesla $35K car will not be available for some time and with taxes etc. is likely to be around $40K but without any add-ons. Old Tesla's have held up there resale value well, other BEVs have not. A 2011 Nissan Leaf will cost you about $6 to 9K. Not sure what the battery warranty is but let us assume that you can get a couple of years out of that car on the current battery The original range was 106 miles, and let us say it is now 75 miles. Are you OK with that, spending about $8K for a car with an 75 mile range. In addition it may need a major battery replacement in say 2 years, This is sort of a realistic scenario. In the best case you may get 90 miles per charge and battery will last 5 years more. Or in the worst case, it may go out in a year or give you 40 miles per charge. You need to look at that. I personally would not buy an 7 year old Nissan Leaf unless it was a screaming deal and I was sure that the range was at least 70-80 miles per charge.

    I know that there are not too many options at that price range. You might be able to get a newer BEV with 80-100 mile range for about $15-20K. Else wait for year to see what other manufacturers come up with or if Tesla produces the $35K version.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    Alex Soto likes this.
  5. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    Spark ev is a better choice with DC fast charger.

    Liquid cooled battery
    DC fast charger
    Great charging curve
    Domenick likes this.
  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    It would help greatly if we knew more about your specific needs and your intended use.

    Will this car be used for commuting? If so, what is the distance you'll be driving? What is the climate like where you live? Do you live in a mild "Mediterranean" climate in coastal California? Or do you live where it sometimes gets bitterly cold on winter days?

    How much extra range do you need for side trips on they way to work or on the way home?

    Will you be able to install a dedicated EV charger where you live? Contrary to what you may have read, a garage isn't required. But a dedicated parking spot, and the right to install an EV charging point there, is pretty much a requirement if you're going to buy a BEV.

    * * * * *

    A used Leaf can be a pretty good bargain. Getting one to be used for 2-3 years while you wait for something better to come on the market is a strategy many are using, so if you choose to do that, you will be in good company. My concern about the Leaf would be its limited range, but if your daily drive is significantly shorter than that of the average American driver, then that might work for you.

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  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Hi Alex,
    I faced similar decisions in 2016 and went with:
    • May 2016 - End of lease, 2014 BMW i3 REx (loaded), 6400 miles, $29k (replacement is $20-23k)
    • Dec 2016 - New, 2017 Prius Prime (lowest trim), plug-in hybrid, <10 miles, $28k
    My mandatory requirements:
    1. Reach Nashville TN, 120 miles from Huntsville AL.
    2. Dynamic cruise control and emergency braking.
    2014 BMW i3-REx

    In the used BMW market, get the VIN and use a VIN decoder to figure out what options it has. An end of lease car is going to be maintained and in good shape. But the first model year, 2014, of any car has 'infantile' problems so I was grateful for the 5 year, 50,000 mi warranty when a motor mount bolt broke (the replacement parts are much stronger.) The range extender is critical because sometimes remote chargers will be broken, occupied, or you need to go where there are no chargers. Longest trip, 700 miles both ways.

    2017 Prius Prime Plus

    With Toyota TSS-P, a radar based dynamic cruise control, emergency braking, and lane keep alarm, this safety feature is more reliable than the optically based, BMW i3-REx. For example, fog or driving into the sun. The 25 mile, EV range meets my city range but it really shines as a Prius, +56 MPG, on the highway. The delivery drive home, 1200 miles, took one tank midway and still ran a week around town on the second tank. This is King of the highway yet cheap as an EV around town.

    Other thoughts
    • End of lease cars with manufacturer warranty are depreciated more than the Federal Tax Credit.
    • Liquid cooled BMW battery handles hot and cold temperatures better than the Prime air cooled battery.
    • BMW is a '10 stop' EV car around town and the Prime a '3 stop' EV.
    • Range Extender got me home when new charger was found to be broken 76 mi from home.
    • Given the poor state of non-Tesla SuperCharger networks, go with any range extended, plug-in hybrid.
    • Ebay completed car sales are an excellent source of the true value of any used car.
    Bob Wilson
  9. Jimmy Truong

    Jimmy Truong Member

    Get Tesla Model 3. It’s pretty much a BMW 340i in gasoline automobile while The rest of the pack you mentioned were like Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata....a Luxury vs a regular mid-size sedan. What segment fits your budget more?
    I just went for Tesla 3 because I’d get $13.5k back from tax credit and rebates! So my $51.5k configured Model 3 would end up $38k. Buying used EV will lose all these!
    By the way, did you forget about the VW e-Goft?
  10. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    You didn't pay sales tax?
  11. Jimmy Truong

    Jimmy Truong Member

    We talked about price tag. You pay tax on every car regardless it’s new or old unless it’s private transfer!
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  13. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    It sounds like this guy was on a pretty limited budget... What you bought might be too pricey for him.
  14. Alex Soto

    Alex Soto New Member

    I guess my main use for the car is to drive to work. I have a 5 mile commute round trip. I live in Riverside, CA and when not driving to work I just drive within maybe a 2 or 3 mile radius. In the 7 years I've had my Corrola, I've put about 30k miles on it. I know of people who do that in months. I don't drive much.

    I'm tired of paying for gas. I also want to be more environmentally conscious. I was looking into the 2011 Leaf but the battery degradation in places where I live is a concern. I mean 70-80 mile range is more than enough for me. So it's still an option. I was also looking into the Chevy Spark. These are also the most affordable. The ones I've seen were $7000-$9000. I can finance those and make payments of $150-$200 a month. Which is ideal.

    Another concern was charging. I don't have a 240v outlet and was looking into getting a subscription into EVGO and doing the fast charging thing. Also I don't have a garage and charging at home might not be an option because of the concerns my mom, the house is hers, has about how much it will cost. I was thinking maybe getting some solar panels, an inverter, and batteries and charge the car that way.

    I'm thinking within 3-6 months I want to get the car. I'm getting it just for the environmental impact, but also for the cost. I can't think of any other concerns or questions. If I do, I will post them. Thank you all for responding I really appreciate, Alex.
  15. Jimmy Truong

    Jimmy Truong Member

    Lease an EV, man. Btw, if you drive 5 miles each way to work, don’t bother with 240v outlet. 120V does just fine with 5 miles/hr charge. My Model 3 has been charged with 120v for almost 3 months now since my wife only drove 20-30 miles a day.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    dGarry48 likes this.
  16. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I see, well if you really care for the environment it is always better to buy a pre owned car, because all new cars have the manufacturing carbon footprint that is absorbed by the first owner. The spark sounds like it would work fine for you, maybe try to shop around and find the best deal you can... Solar is a great way to collect energy, but setting up a system with battery is pretty expensive. Good Luck shopping!
  17. Alex Soto

    Alex Soto New Member

    Well the up front cost of a lease is probably a problem. Didn't really look into it, but I'll do some research. I was also thinking of the Model S used at around $40k would be cool. I've seen a few at that price.
  18. Alex Soto

    Alex Soto New Member

    I was just brainstorming about the solar charging. I kind of figured it would be pricey.
  19. Jimmy Truong

    Jimmy Truong Member

    Charging an EV costs pretty much the same as running AC. Just pay your mom the difference and you’re good to go. If you reside at your mom’s home and the car is registered at the address, apply PG&E Clean Fuel Rebate. Yeah, that’s $500 for your mom there.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    A good rule of thumb, ~250 Wh per mile or 4 miles per kWh.

    No one mentioned it but there are some nice electric scooters and motorcycles.

    Bob Wilson
  21. If you can find a used Chevy Spark at a good price, it should work well for you.

    Regarding electricity usage, you can always measure exactly how many kilowatt-hours you use with a simple meter like the Kill a Watt for $20 on Amazon. With this, you should be easily able to figure out how much to pay for electricity. With your low usage, it shouldn't be very much.

    The Spark EV is rated at 28 kWh per 100 miles by the EPA, so a week's worth of commuting --25 miles-- would use 7 kWh. If you pay $0.1608 per kWh, then that would be about $1.13 per week (if I did the math right).
  22. Alex Soto

    Alex Soto New Member

    I think since I don't drive that much she won't be as concerned, and if she objects too much I'll just do the fast charger. There are several locations within 2-3 miles of my home.

    Funny thing I showed my family the car and they all said it was ugly. The aesthetic of the car is my least concern. Just thought it was funny.
    David Green and Domenick like this.
  23. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Which car?

    Bob Wilson

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