Author Topic: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it  (Read 101297 times)

forummm

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Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« on: July 03, 2014, 10:39:56 AM »
Update: for VPP and leasing pricing (as low as $17/month net in Georgia, see http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/nissan-leaf-almost-paying-me-to-drive-it/msg372047/#msg372047 )

Update 2: I bought a 2nd Leaf and we're now an EV-only household http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/nissan-leaf-almost-paying-me-to-drive-it/msg412192/#msg412192

I stumbled upon this deal by accident. I'd always wanted an electric car, but never wanted to spend the money for one. But my wife wanted to upgrade her 2000 Oldsmobile (it ran well but had some issues and guzzled gas). So I started looking into a replacement. I had no idea, but there are huge tax credits for buying a new (not used) electric vehicle. The federal one is up to $7.5k. Even Georgia (where I live) has a $5k tax credit--I was shocked. Georgia!? So I was getting very interested. Then I saw Nissan's incentives for the model year end--$3.5k rebate and 0% for 6 years. I crunched numbers for total cost of ownership for her current car, the Leaf, a new gas Fit, and a used Fit. Fit was the choice for getting a gas car for various reasons--also MMM recommended. For various reasons (mostly the tax credits) the Leaf is the best deal among the EVs. But I was shocked at how the numbers came out--the Leaf was the cheapest (see below). So we  thought about it for a week and then bought one. Of course I did my research and negotiated and got exactly what I wanted--one of the last 3 or so 2014 Leaf S with upgraded charging package in the entire Atlanta metro area. I paid below invoice, including everything (charge package, floor mats, etc). What did it run me?
$29,500 (including everything except state fees)
-$7,500 (federal)
-$5,000 (state)
-$3,500 (Nissan)
=$13.5k
I financed the 26k plus state fees (GA taxes you upfront when you acquire a vehicle and then there's no annual tax) at 0% for 6 years.

I get the $12.5k in Jan/Feb when I file my taxes. But since I financed this part of the purchase price, Nissan is lending me the money at 0% so I can invest it until the payments catch up to it over 3 years.

There's also a full warranty, including a 5 year warranty on the battery capacity (if it drops below 70% range they replace it).

There's also a special Georgia Power rate plan for electric vehicles where it's 1.3 cents per kWh (plus fuel charges, taxes, fees, etc which total another few cents per kWh) if you charge it between 11pm-7am (when it's in my garage anyway), and the Leaf has a built in charging timer so it will charge when you tell it to (just plug it in when you get home and it will charge itself during super off peak hours).

So I'm expecting to pay about $100 per year for energy (Edit: my electricity bill actually went down from last year because of the switch to EV rate plan, even with charging the car), have about $0 estimated for depreciation after 5 years (after tax credits and rebate), not have to pay for emissions testing, almost no maintenance is required (no oil changes, etc), and I get to have a brand new electric car.

The only downsides are that it has about 70-100 miles of range depending on how you drive (but we have an efficient gas car if we need to go somewhere far, and we've driven the Leaf all week without having to charge it yet), that it's unclear what the depreciation will look like (but I plan to drive it for 15 years anyway), and there isn't a 10+ year track record of Leafs yet to know what the reliability will be like when it gets really old. There are options for taking the Leaf on trips (fast charge stations take it to 80% charged in <30 minutes) but it's obviously more hassle (stopping every hour for 30 minutes) and much less available (there's an app to show you where the stations are) than gas stations. I bet that in the next 3-10 years there will be a lot of after market conversions that would let you add another 100 miles of range if you can pay $5-10k for the batteries.

My average annual numbers at the 5 year period for our usage (we don't drive much) for comprehensive and collision insurance (required for financing), energy, maintenance, emissions, taxes (upfront at acquisition), depreciation, and opportunity cost of the money:
Leaf: $800
2000 Oldsmobile: $1400 (assuming it lasts 5 years)
Used Fit: $2250
New Fit: $3050

And the electric car is a great hedge against the rising price of gasoline. I expect it only to go up--perhaps dramatically.

The free plug that came with the Leaf will charge about 40 miles in 8 hours (super off peak hours) or I can get a $600 240v charging station that plugs into a 240v outlet (which I can install myself for $40 or pay an electrician maybe $200 to put in) that will fill the entire ~100 mile range in 5 hours.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 05:41:12 PM by forummm »

hexdexorex

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 10:52:27 AM »
Yea GA incentives are great. I wish CA increased theirs to 5k as well....

In West Virginia its 7500 (because the coal companies want ppl to own electric cars)....ironic

Bourbon

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 11:12:16 AM »
Made me look too.  Unfortunately no incentives in Ky other than the reduced electric rates.  I did see some 2013 models still out there new.  I wonder when they mark those down drastically?

Doomspark

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 11:32:19 AM »
Nice going!

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 11:35:45 AM »
It will be interesting to see the used Leaf market in 1-3 years when all the leases are up. People are leasing Leafs like crazy here (similar incentives are available that make the final cost something like $0 to $200 per month for the lease, including everything--and the energy savings could be $200/month). If people choose not to purchase at the end, there could be a lot of cars still under battery and powertrain warranty on the market.

I chose to buy because the deal was better (under my numbers) and I know I want to keep it for the long haul. It's been fun to have. My wife hates to drive, but she actually fights me a bit on who gets to drive it--even when we carpool.

tomsang

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 11:39:35 AM »
Thanks for the post. You made me look. Not sure on the accuracy of this list, but it was handy

http://www.thecarelectric.com/content/electric-car-benefits-by-state.php

Washington State has no sales tax and as an added kicker electric cars are exempt from annual emissions testing...  I am glad that was written into law.

kendallf

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 11:41:50 AM »
You prompted me to go and look at Florida's incentives again.  Not much -- HOV lane exemption, woo!

We have two Prii that I bought used (wife and daughter) currently, and I plan to keep ours and drive it into the ground.  I'll be looking for plug in conversion parts in a few years when the prices come down.  Currently ~$10k for a 40-100mi range add on battery pack, which has basically negative ROI without tax incentives.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 11:48:56 AM »
You prompted me to go and look at Florida's incentives again.  Not much -- HOV lane exemption, woo!


GA has the HOV lane exemption too. But not many HOV lanes (none of the places we normally drive) and it's $35/year for the special license plate and you have to get a free peach pass (still some hassle) so I'm not planning to do it.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 11:52:43 AM »
Made me look too.  Unfortunately no incentives in Ky other than the reduced electric rates.  I did see some 2013 models still out there new.  I wonder when they mark those down drastically?

The 2013 models if they are new still qualify for the tax credits. And last month Nissan was offering $3500 rebate and 0% financing on them as well, plus an additional $1k in rebate to the dealer (which you can negotiate to have dropped from your purchase price). It looks like they haven't started that deal again (yet) for this month.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 12:04:43 PM »
Yea GA incentives are great. I wish CA increased theirs to 5k as well....


Even $2.5k is nice. Under my scenario that would still be cheaper than a gas powered vehicle.

enigmaT120

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 10:54:47 PM »
Nice deal.  Oregon only has 1500 and is threatening to tax electric cars higher as their drivers don't pay gas tax.  My commut is 100 miles rt if I drive so a Leaf wouldn't do it but I like them.

Another Reader

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 11:06:34 PM »
My area has numerous Leafs, Volts and even Teslas.  You see a lot of Leafs doing the school drop offs and grocery runs.  Not so much on the freeways, although they all seem to have the highly prized carpool lane sticker.  My guess is they are the new mode of transportation for forward thinking SAHP's.

There was a cheap lease deal advertised on these a few weeks back.  My guess is the tax credit goes to the lessor and subsidizes the lease to some extent.

gimp

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 11:13:31 PM »
Your guess would be right, AR, just like companies like Solar City who pay to get solar panels on your roof, take the tax break, and sell you energy at lower costs than utilities would. Win-win-win, wins all around. Maybe not what was intended, but it gets the job done, so nobody complains.

AR, you're bay area, right? I feel like there are more Teslas around me than leafs and volts combined. Largely due to the fact that leafs and volts are ugly, relatively expensive, have crap range, and drive like cheap cars (because they are, apart from the battery).

Another Reader

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 11:34:14 PM »
My subdivision has around 330 homes.  There are at least 3 Leafs and two Volts within a couple of blocks.  No Teslas in my part of the neighborhood yet.  However, I see them all the time between my house and the freeway.  I think there are at least ten that are garaged nearby, based on license plates and colors.  I'm in the hills in the South Bay, and there are a couple of nearby neighborhoods with a high concentration of tech wealth.

The guy behind me drives a souped up early 70's GM product with all the racing stickers.  He's probably had it for decades, so his cost of ownership is also low....

TomTX

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2014, 07:15:43 AM »
Tempting, but my commute is too short to really pay off, as long as the '95 Saturn still passes emissions. Would be nice to have AC again though.

hexdexorex

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2014, 09:07:52 AM »
To defend the volt it has pretty much the highest customer satisfaction level. Also after all the breaks its as cheap as the prius and a much better car (unless you go long rangers regularly).

jeastith

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2014, 07:47:59 AM »
Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2014, 11:29:07 AM »
There was a cheap lease deal advertised on these a few weeks back.  My guess is the tax credit goes to the lessor and subsidizes the lease to some extent.

Yes, Nissan is offering $7.5k to $9.7k in incentives towards a lease--essentially giving you the federal tax credit.

Looks like the $3500 Nissan cash plus 0% financing is available for the 2015 Leafs now.

socaso

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2014, 05:10:03 PM »
That's amazing! Another big incentive for me would be having a car that was fueled and ready to go every morning so I don't have to do the gas station time juggling maneuver that I have to do once a week. I'm sure I'm the only one who lets this slide until the last minute.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2014, 12:01:38 PM »
Update: I spent $50 on parts and installed a 7.2kW EV charging station ($590) myself. It didn't take much knowledge or skill to do the electrical work to code. And there are a ton of videos online with electricians showing you how to do it. Since I did it myself I saved about $1400, and I added a plug to the charging station so that I can take it on the road with me and plug it in where 240v outlets are available (for dryers, RVs, etc). I could have gotten by with the charging station that comes with the car and plugs into a standard 120v household outlet, but the new one allows up to 5 times faster charging (about 25-30 miles of added range per hour of charging).

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2014, 12:07:53 PM »
I saw a Spark EV on the road this week. It looks like another great EV option. It's just slightly cheaper than the Leaf, but doesn't have the same manufacturer cash back and financing options.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2014, 12:15:23 PM »
Nissan recently announced that replacement batteries (which will presumably have their most advanced technology available when you get them) are $5500. I expect that will drop as batteries continue to get cheaper and lighter. Probably in 8-10 when I want a replacement battery, I could opt to double my range at the same time for about $5-6k total.

Jack

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2014, 12:28:03 PM »
This makes me give serious consideration to doing the same thing, especially since I'm also in Atlanta and should hopefully be able to get the same deal. The thing that worries me though, is that my commute is an antimustachian 30 miles each way (all freeway--from near downtown out toward Gwinnett) and I'm not sure if a Leaf could make it without charging at work.

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2014, 12:50:46 PM »
Tempting, but my commute is too short to really pay off, as long as the '95 Saturn still passes emissions. Would be nice to have AC again though.

+1

Driving my 2002 SC-2 3-door until the wheels fall off....same A/C issue though

strider3700

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2014, 03:34:09 PM »
I spent a bit of time on the canadian nissan site.  wow canadian prices suck compared to what you got.

libertarian4321

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2014, 05:11:46 PM »
We are thinking of buying either an electric or an ELIO in the next couple of years as a commuter (2nd) vehicle.

If we go electric, I'll need to get my wife to focus on the Leaf or Volt and stop obsessing over the Tesla (which is what, about double the cost of either?).

Though with the number of new models coming out, there might be something far better by 2016.

okashira

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2014, 05:21:47 PM »
If the battery is only $5500, why didn't they just make $7500 so it could actually have more then 110 miles range?

Am I the only one who thinks it's not a coincidence that all electric cars, except tesla's have almost the exact same size battery pack, 20kwh? ;-)

JamesAt15

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2014, 07:29:51 PM »
Though with the number of new models coming out, there might be something far better by 2016.

If you're referring to the Tesla Model III, it will be "unveiled in 2016 before actually going on sale in 2017."

http://www.autoblog.com/2014/07/16/tesla-3-series-fighter-named-model-iii-3-musk/

So the other manufacturers have a bit of time. I think it's good to know that the new Tesla models are coming, even in a few years. It will encourage the other car companies to release and improve their own models to try to gain market share in the meantime, and be competitive when the Model III releases.

rxmurphy

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2014, 05:40:05 AM »
Tempting, but my commute is too short to really pay off, as long as the '95 Saturn still passes emissions. Would be nice to have AC again though.

+1

Driving my 2002 SC-2 3-door until the wheels fall off....same A/C issue though
Didn't your car come with 4-40 AC?

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2014, 07:24:38 AM »
Tempting, but my commute is too short to really pay off, as long as the '95 Saturn still passes emissions. Would be nice to have AC again though.

+1

Driving my 2002 SC-2 3-door until the wheels fall off....same A/C issue though
Didn't your car come with 4-40 AC?

SC stands for sports coupe...it came with 2-55 AC :)

Doomspark

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2014, 09:06:32 AM »
I'm really happy with my Volt.  I like that it has the 40-50 mile battery range (which covers my work commute), but also has the gas option that makes it useful for road trips.

Because we're currently renting, I have not installed a charging station.  When we buy a place of our own, that will be one of the first things I do.  I plug it into a standard 110 outlet every night.

IIRC, there's a Federal tax credit for putting in the charging station.

Gin1984

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2014, 11:16:21 AM »
I spent a bit of time on the canadian nissan site.  wow canadian prices suck compared to what you got.
So buy in the USA and drive it home. :)

ivyhedge

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2014, 11:40:33 AM »
Because we're currently renting, I have not installed a charging station.  When we buy a place of our own, that will be one of the first things I do.  I plug it into a standard 110 outlet every night.


How do you handle electricity charges (so to speak)? Our condo complex has no provision for charging anything (very strange considering its age and demographic), and I don't think they'd take kindly to me dragging around an extension cord. ;)

Doomspark

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2014, 12:09:30 PM »
How do you handle electricity charges (so to speak)? Our condo complex has no provision for charging anything (very strange considering its age and demographic), and I don't think they'd take kindly to me dragging around an extension cord. ;)

We have a shed adjacent to the carport that has an electrical outlet inside. The shed's got a hole in the side of it (no idea how it got there - it predates us), and I've snaked a heavy-duty extension cord from the outlet, out the hole, and over to where I park.  When I go to work in the morning, I unplug the charger and put it in my car, and then drop the extension cord back down the hole.  When I get home at night, I unlock the shed and feed the cord back out again.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2014, 12:43:43 PM »
What does the payment work too? If you don't mind.

Also, which Nissan dealership. I'm also metro-Atlanta based. Thanks.

Nords

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2014, 12:06:16 AM »
Update: I spent $50 on parts and installed a 7.2kW EV charging station ($590) myself. It didn't take much knowledge or skill to do the electrical work to code. And there are a ton of videos online with electricians showing you how to do it. Since I did it myself I saved about $1400, and I added a plug to the charging station so that I can take it on the road with me and plug it in where 240v outlets are available (for dryers, RVs, etc). I could have gotten by with the charging station that comes with the car and plugs into a standard 120v household outlet, but the new one allows up to 5 times faster charging (about 25-30 miles of added range per hour of charging).
Do you happen to have a link to the charging station itself? 

I have a choice of installing a few more panels (and a bigger inverter) on our existing array, but if I can buy a stand-alone EV charging station for that price then I can skip the inverter upgrade.

Do you really mean 7.2KW/7200 watts?  Because around here, that's big enough to power a four-bedroom home with air conditioning & all-electric appliances.

greenmimama

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2014, 10:24:14 AM »
I checke don MI, they have 0 incentives, too bad, I would consider this for sure, sounds like the best new car deal ever!!

DollarBill

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2014, 05:33:32 PM »
Quote
$29,500 (including everything except state fees)
-$7,500 (federal)
-$5,000 (state)
-$3,500 (Nissan)
=$13.5k
Wonder if you can sell it after you file and turn a profit? Does the tax code say you have to keep it for a certain amount of years?

Jack

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2014, 05:46:58 PM »
Quote
$29,500 (including everything except state fees)
-$7,500 (federal)
-$5,000 (state)
-$3,500 (Nissan)
=$13.5k
Wonder if you can sell it after you file and turn a profit? Does the tax code say you have to keep it for a certain amount of years?

I would expect that the tax credit depresses the resale value by the amount of the credit. Why would you pay more for a used one than you could buying it new?

I guess maybe you could try to do arbitrage between a state with a tax credit and one without....

DollarBill

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2014, 10:12:35 PM »
Quote
$29,500 (including everything except state fees)
-$7,500 (federal)
-$5,000 (state)
-$3,500 (Nissan)
=$13.5k
Wonder if you can sell it after you file and turn a profit? Does the tax code say you have to keep it for a certain amount of years?

I would expect that the tax credit depresses the resale value by the amount of the credit. Why would you pay more for a used one than you could buying it new?

I guess maybe you could try to do arbitrage between a state with a tax credit and one without....
I remember about two years back I calculated the tax difference for buying a Chevy Volt. The tax system benefits the higher earner. On my income I would only reap about $1500-2000 but my Mom at a higher income would get the full $7500. I wonder how many people buy one without doing the tax math or find out later they don't get the full amount.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2014, 12:58:18 PM »
This makes me give serious consideration to doing the same thing, especially since I'm also in Atlanta and should hopefully be able to get the same deal. The thing that worries me though, is that my commute is an antimustachian 30 miles each way (all freeway--from near downtown out toward Gwinnett) and I'm not sure if a Leaf could make it without charging at work.

I definitely can get over 60 miles on the freeway, even with A/C. And if you were worried about the distance, maybe you could trickle charge (using the charging station that plugs into any standard household outlet) while at work. It adds about 5 miles per hour of charging time. The battery will lose range over time though, and in the winter I hear that range decreases a little more because the battery is cold (the range increases in the summer).

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2014, 01:08:23 PM »
If the battery is only $5500, why didn't they just make $7500 so it could actually have more then 110 miles range?

Am I the only one who thinks it's not a coincidence that all electric cars, except tesla's have almost the exact same size battery pack, 20kwh? ;-)

A lot of educated guessing:

My guess is that they are limited by the current model cycle's configuration. The model cycle is 6 years, and they are generally sticking with the same size body but each year the battery technology gets better. Originally (2011 I think) the battery was 300 pounds heavier and had 10% less capacity (and was certainly more expensive). The technology advances have decreased the price about 8-10% per year. So they designed the body to hold the battery pack they expected to have, and now they would have to redesign things to put in a larger sized one that is now cheaper and less heavy. They have been surveying Leaf owners to see if we'd pay $5k more for double the range. So my guess is that with the next model cycle (I think starting in 2016 with 2017 model years) they will probably have 50% or 100% larger ranges and probably even cost about the same as the current models do. But by then the federal (and likely Georgia) tax credits will probably be gone.

I expect that I'll be able to retrofit mine to add more capacity if I want to. There are some aftermarket options available now. But I only charge mine once or twice a week anyway, so I don't need the range.

And Nissan may come out with a new battery pack that fits the 2014 Leaf that has more capacity when the range on mine has declined (and the capacity warranty has expired). By this time, in 2020 or beyond, batteries should be much cheaper.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2014, 01:11:17 PM »

IIRC, there's a Federal tax credit for putting in the charging station.

The one for private individuals expired Dec 31st and hasn't been renewed as of now.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2014, 01:14:12 PM »
What does the payment work too? If you don't mind.

Also, which Nissan dealership. I'm also metro-Atlanta based. Thanks.

I think it is $384 for 6 years. That includes financing everything including the GA taxes, etc, and the $3500 from Nissan is already accounted for. I'll get $12,500 more when I file in early 2015 (almost 3 years of payments).

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2014, 01:16:52 PM »

Also, which Nissan dealership. I'm also metro-Atlanta based. Thanks.

AutoNation Thornton Road in Lithia Springs

I recommend using the Internet departments of a bunch of dealers and asking what the out-the-door price is on the model you're interested in. I got a much better deal that way, and saved myself a lot of time, then going to a dealer and negotiating.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2014, 01:26:50 PM »
Update: I spent $50 on parts and installed a 7.2kW EV charging station ($590) myself. It didn't take much knowledge or skill to do the electrical work to code. And there are a ton of videos online with electricians showing you how to do it. Since I did it myself I saved about $1400, and I added a plug to the charging station so that I can take it on the road with me and plug it in where 240v outlets are available (for dryers, RVs, etc). I could have gotten by with the charging station that comes with the car and plugs into a standard 120v household outlet, but the new one allows up to 5 times faster charging (about 25-30 miles of added range per hour of charging).
Do you happen to have a link to the charging station itself? 

I have a choice of installing a few more panels (and a bigger inverter) on our existing array, but if I can buy a stand-alone EV charging station for that price then I can skip the inverter upgrade.

Do you really mean 7.2KW/7200 watts?  Because around here, that's big enough to power a four-bedroom home with air conditioning & all-electric appliances.

Yes, it's a 240V, 30A station. It adds up to 30 miles per hour of charging. About 4.5 hours to fill it from empty (charging slows down when the battery gets close to full).

http://www.clippercreek.com/store/product/hcs-40-30a-240v-charging-25-cord-3/

I put in a NEMA 14-50 outlet, a 50A breaker, used 6 gauge wire, and added an electric range plug to the station. You can pay $55 extra and they'll add the plug for you, but it's much shorter than the one I added, and I also have the flexibility to hard wire it if I want to.

My service disconnect is 150A, and even if I had both A/Cs running and was charging the car and running the dryer and normal other usage, that's still enough juice. But I try to only charge it at night to take advantage of the super off peak electric rate. Which is also nice to have because my A/Cs and outdoor lighting running at night are using extra cheap power.

As far as charging it from DC, you'd have to figure out something to make that work. It's designed to use AC, except for the DC fast charging option. If you look on the mynissanleaf.com forum you can probably find someone who's using that kind of a setup and writing about it.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2014, 01:33:09 PM »
Quote
$29,500 (including everything except state fees)
-$7,500 (federal)
-$5,000 (state)
-$3,500 (Nissan)
=$13.5k
Wonder if you can sell it after you file and turn a profit? Does the tax code say you have to keep it for a certain amount of years?

I would expect that the tax credit depresses the resale value by the amount of the credit. Why would you pay more for a used one than you could buying it new?

I guess maybe you could try to do arbitrage between a state with a tax credit and one without....
I remember about two years back I calculated the tax difference for buying a Chevy Volt. The tax system benefits the higher earner. On my income I would only reap about $1500-2000 but my Mom at a higher income would get the full $7500. I wonder how many people buy one without doing the tax math or find out later they don't get the full amount.

Yes, exactly. If I sold it now, especially in another state that doesn't have the tax credit, I could probably turn a profit. Edmunds says the used value of mine is something in the mid $20k I think, and I only have $13.5k in it. I don't know how long the IRS makes you keep it. But I have heard people doing it for 90 days and selling it and getting the credits.

But the used Leaf market is definitely depressed by the tax credits. Why would someone pay more for a used one than to get their own brand new one? The only reasons I can think of are 1) ignorance, and 2) they don't have enough income tax liability to make full use of the tax credits.

Due to the tax credits, the Leaf is one of the fastest depreciating vehicles right now. But that will change when the tax credits run out. They phase out at 200k cars sold by that manufacturer, and Nissan's probably going to hit that mark in 2 more years.

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2014, 01:49:06 PM »
How do you handle electricity charges (so to speak)? Our condo complex has no provision for charging anything (very strange considering its age and demographic), and I don't think they'd take kindly to me dragging around an extension cord. ;)

We have a shed adjacent to the carport that has an electrical outlet inside. The shed's got a hole in the side of it (no idea how it got there - it predates us), and I've snaked a heavy-duty extension cord from the outlet, out the hole, and over to where I park.  When I go to work in the morning, I unplug the charger and put it in my car, and then drop the extension cord back down the hole.  When I get home at night, I unlock the shed and feed the cord back out again.

I think it would be better to not use an extension cord, and if you did have to use one, get the shortest possible cord that does the job (remembering that the cable from the charging equipment is another 20+ ft). But if you are going to use the 120V, 12A charging equipment that comes with the car, it might be just fine if you have the appropriate heavy duty extension cord. I have an electric lawn mower that also pulls 120V, 12A and I have a 12-gauge, 100-foot extension cord that I use it with. It's a cord rated for that load (15A--you want it at least 15A for a 12A continuous load), so it was about $70. And DEFINITELY get one rated for the job. You don't want to stress the on-board charger or start a fire. And make sure that no one else will be using that circuit that the cord is plugged into so you don't trip the breaker (and wind up with a partially charged battery).

I would check mynissanleaf.com and see what other owners are reporting about using extension cords. But best to not use one if you can do without it. My guess is that Nissan says not to use an extension cord.


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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2014, 02:31:20 PM »
How do you handle electricity charges (so to speak)? Our condo complex has no provision for charging anything (very strange considering its age and demographic), and I don't think they'd take kindly to me dragging around an extension cord. ;)

We have a shed adjacent to the carport that has an electrical outlet inside. The shed's got a hole in the side of it (no idea how it got there - it predates us), and I've snaked a heavy-duty extension cord from the outlet, out the hole, and over to where I park.  When I go to work in the morning, I unplug the charger and put it in my car, and then drop the extension cord back down the hole.  When I get home at night, I unlock the shed and feed the cord back out again.

I think it would be better to not use an extension cord, and if you did have to use one, get the shortest possible cord that does the job (remembering that the cable from the charging equipment is another 20+ ft). But if you are going to use the 120V, 12A charging equipment that comes with the car, it might be just fine if you have the appropriate heavy duty extension cord. I have an electric lawn mower that also pulls 120V, 12A and I have a 12-gauge, 100-foot extension cord that I use it with. It's a cord rated for that load (15A--you want it at least 15A for a 12A continuous load), so it was about $70. And DEFINITELY get one rated for the job. You don't want to stress the on-board charger or start a fire. And make sure that no one else will be using that circuit that the cord is plugged into so you don't trip the breaker (and wind up with a partially charged battery).

I would check mynissanleaf.com and see what other owners are reporting about using extension cords. But best to not use one if you can do without it. My guess is that Nissan says not to use an extension cord.

I hear you on this.  I use an extension cord that's rated for 15 amps for exactly the reasons you stated.

I have to use a cord because the charger for my Volt (it's NOT a Leaf) won't fit through the aforementioned hole in the shed.  I rent, so enlarging the hole (and getting dunned by my landlord) is not an option.

forummm

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Re: Nissan Leaf--almost paying me to drive it
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2014, 06:54:14 AM »
Update: I spent $50 on parts and installed a 7.2kW EV charging station ($590) myself. It didn't take much knowledge or skill to do the electrical work to code. And there are a ton of videos online with electricians showing you how to do it. Since I did it myself I saved about $1400, and I added a plug to the charging station so that I can take it on the road with me and plug it in where 240v outlets are available (for dryers, RVs, etc). I could have gotten by with the charging station that comes with the car and plugs into a standard 120v household outlet, but the new one allows up to 5 times faster charging (about 25-30 miles of added range per hour of charging).
Do you happen to have a link to the charging station itself? 

I have a choice of installing a few more panels (and a bigger inverter) on our existing array, but if I can buy a stand-alone EV charging station for that price then I can skip the inverter upgrade.

Do you really mean 7.2KW/7200 watts?  Because around here, that's big enough to power a four-bedroom home with air conditioning & all-electric appliances.

I would also think that it would be more profitable to sell your solar energy back to the grid during the day (when demand and electricity prices are high) and pull from the grid at night (when demand and electricity prices are low). Assuming you're grid connected.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 06:45:00 PM by forummm »