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Used Electric

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:26 pm
by hoping2retire35
I have been looking into getting a new(er) commuter, and noticed early model leafs are as low as $6k. These are low mileage cars, ~40-60k, and much newer than my current 2000 model, comparatively, other similar year cars are pricier, in fact....

My commute is 22 miles one way. Which would mean I could still make my commute with ~55%(44 mi total, 55%*83mi=45mi(cutting close but just trying to be representative)) battery capacity, even then I could remove the 80% charge limit, and keep going. ESt. 55% charge capacity up to ~150k miles, then remove charge limit to keep it going(would actually remove charge limit sometime shortly after 100k, practically). Actually I hope to be retired well before getting to this limit and it will driven by my kids at that point.

My breaker box is close to the driveway but 40ft from the barn and another 10ft to the bay, which would require ~$90 10/3 ub wire. I would install a switch coming from my 30amp dryer line(so I would switch from dryer during day and can charge at night). No sure if the 30 amps are enough to supply the additional 50 feet to charge the car enough, though I guess that just means it would charge slower? I do have an unused 220, 50amp in the breaker box.

Also considering Ford fiesta/Masda3 with similar years/mileage. Though fuel and maintaince would be ~$300 more per year, we could save a little by being able to drive to the mountains and other slightly longer trips.


Re: Used Electric

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:34 pm
by Chris
I did a little research into used Leafs (Leaves?) as well, drawn by their low prices.

A major turnoff for me was that they use air-cooled batteries, which may subject the battery to more degradation than a liquid-cooled battery. The original Nissan battery warranty was for 2/3 charge capacity after 96 months/100k miles. By rough comparison, there area data points of Teslas with 150k miles with 90% charge capacity on their (liquid-cooled) packs.

Still, even at 50% of charge capacity, a used and degraded Leaf might fit your usage profile.

The BMW i3 is another electric vehicle that is going for low prices on the used market. Its high depreciation is probably due to its much shorter range compared to existing and forthcoming all-electric models.

Re: Used Electric

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:53 pm
by jennypenny
Did US BMW ever agree to sell upgraded batteries for older models of the i3? If so, the i3 would be a nice car even if you have to pay a few thousand to upgrade the battery to meet your needs.

Re: Used Electric

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:18 am
by hoping2retire35
I looked into the I3, I like them, even with the quirkiness. However, they are simply too expensive right now. If we like the leaf and want another electric in a few years and the price drops a little more I would consider it; at the moment wife is driving a minivan.

Re: Used Electric

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:36 am
by Riggerjack
It's been years since I looked at the specs for a leaf. So verify for yourself.

First, the charger was only available to licensed electricians, owner installation was not allowed. So finding a charger is the first concern.

Next, the dryer is going to be on a 10/3+g wire. It'll run a dryer, but check the specs on the charger. I would run a very heavy copper line to the charger. 6 guage, because I have a reel for things like this.

The greater the amperage, the greater the loss, and the NEC recommends limiting loss to 2%. There are charts to work this out. And you can find old NEC PDFs on Google.

And remember, electrical loss is not really lost. It is heat. Meaning loss must be accompanied by cooling, and in a predominantly heating environment it is useful, but in a predominantly cooling environment, the loss doubles. First, there is the loss converted to heat, then there is the energy used to remove the heat from the house.

Since you have the breaker space, I would use a new dedicated circuit, as heavy as I could build. YMMV.