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    • california_born

      Yeah, I get that people want new electric cars with new shiny tech. And Uncle Sam will give you $7,500 to buy one. But still, like-new used electric cars are only fractions of the price of the new ones (with the exception of Tesla).

      Take for example a Nissan Leaf. You can get one with only 30k miles on it for $10,000 with lots of life left on the 8 year / 100k mile warranty. You can even find some under $6,000. The cost per mile of driving is insanely cheap. Seems to violate the basic rules of economics. People aren't acting rationally and forgoing a great used electric car experience for a new one. What am I missing?

    • dr

      You're right, the economics of electric car wear 'n tear differs from ICE cars. Way fewer moving parts. So most of the car actually depreciates better than the industry norms. But if I recall correctly, they do get dinged on batteries...once they go tits up, they're a big ticket replacement item. And it is a certain eventuality. Actuarially speaking...I dunno whether its overall simplicity outweighs the big ticket risks. That being said, I still think off-lease electric vehicles are indeed a great deal. My friend bought a lease turn-in Tesla, and it is an outstanding value.

    • california_born

      Batteries dying are a concern, but good warranties negate that. Nissan's 8-year 100k mile warranty is superb.

      So, I'm thinking of getting a 2015 Leaf with 35k miles for 10k. I could probably get 65k miles before hitting the warranty's end.

      Cost of fuel and loss in value to drive 65k miles in a Leaf:
      Fuel: 65k miles * 0.3 kWH/mile * 0.15 $/kWH = $2,925.
      Depreciation: $10k purchase - $4k value at 100k miles = $6,000
      Cost per mile: ($2,952 + $6,000) / 65k miles = 13.8 cents per mile

      As compared to my 25MPG Subaru:
      Fuel: 65k miles / 25MPG * 4 $/gallon (I'm betting gas prices will go up) = $10,400
      Depreciation: $16k value at 35k miles - $8k value at 100k miles = $8,000
      Cost per mile: ($10,400 + $8,000) / 65k miles = 28.3 cents per mile

      HUGE savings! So I'm thinking of getting a leaf to do 90% of my driving around town, and reserve the Subie for long trips. But I have to figure out what the insurance and maintenance will be for two cars.

    • wx

      I had no idea they were so inexpensive. It seems like an irrestistible deal to me, a man who has never bought a car new.

    • dr

      Dang...8 year 100kmi... That's a huge amount of reassurance ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. On an electric car doing mostly local driving...I think I may need a decade to burn through 100kmi

    • Dr

      I know someone in North Carolina that bought an off-lease Fiat electric out of California, I think it cost them $7k. Not practical for me living out in the woods, but if I was an urban commuter, I'd look hard at this.

    • cmiles74

      I bought a used 2015 Nissan Leaf last year, it was back from a two year lease and had around 22k miles on it and I paid about $9k. It's battery is as good as when that Leaf was new and the car is in great shape. I live in New England and in the summer time I can get about 95 miles per a charge and around 80 miles per charge in the winter time. My daily commute is amazingly short (for which I am enternallly gratefuly): I only have to drive five miles back and forth to work (drop kid off at school, go to work, then in reverse).

      On the highway the car doesn't get the same range. I feel like once I get on the highway, I'm losing at least a third of the range.

      I'm really happy with the car but I can see how the cost would end up so low. I think a big part of the cost is the savings that were reaped by the leasing company (rebates, etc.) were passed on to me when the car was sold. Another thing to keep in mind is that the range is truly limited, these Nissans really only go about 90 miles and when you are out of battery, you have to wait and charge it.

      My partner drives a Subaru and that really made the difference for me. I drive the Leaf most everywhere but having a car with a traditional range makes it a lot easier to enjoy this car.

    • yaypie

      On the highway the car doesn't get the same range. I feel like once I get on the highway, I'm losing at least a third of the range.

      You're probably right. EVs get better mileage in city driving than highway driving, which seems counterintuitive if you're used to internal combustion cars.

      Wind resistance is higher at highway speeds, so the electric motor has to use more energy to keep the car moving. You're also not stopping as much, so there are fewer opportunities to regain energy through regenerative braking. Combustion engines are more efficient in this scenario because they can use higher gears at highway speeds, allowing the engine to run at a lower RPM.

      This was one of the things I had to get used to when I got an EV. Still feels weird. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • california_born

      Another thing to keep in mind is that the range is truly limited, these Nissans really only go about 90 miles and when you are out of battery, you have to wait and charge it.

      Exactly, I'm looking for a used Leaf, but I most definitely will keep my Subaru because I frequently make long road trips. I think I can drive about 12k miles a year with the Leaf in the city and the rest with my Subaru. Although it's limiting distance-wise, it makes a lot of sense economically.

      What's the maintenance like on your Leaf?

    • california_born

      Yeah, I was looking at the Fiat 500e but going to pass on it for a leaf. Although the 500e crash test ratings are decent for its class, it's relatively dangerous compared to a Leaf. There's just not enough crumple zone in compact cars for my comfort.

    • california_born

      Right?! 8 year / 100k miles is insanely good in this day in age! I felt gypped when my Subaru started having engine problems at 65k miles, and its warranty is only 5 yr / 60k miles (and that's only for the powertrain). 8 yr / 100k makes buying a Leaf a no brainer.

    You've been invited!