Author Topic: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???  (Read 2921 times)

brandonbrews

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2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« on: February 01, 2017, 03:33:12 PM »
I'm looking to swap an older, inefficient gas-powered car for a newer, at least partially electric vehicle.  My commute is 35 miles round-trip when I drive, although I usually take a vanpool these days.  I have small daily drives, as well as occasional 100-mile round-trips to see family.   

I'm on the fence between a 2013 Leaf SV (50K miles ~$7500 or 25K miles for ~$8000) and a 2013 Chevy Volt (80K miles ~$9700) and thought I'd seek some illumination from the forum. 

We have a second gas car that could handle the longer trips if we go with the Leaf, but the extended range and higher gas-powered MPG (relative to our other car) of the Volt are both desirable.  But the all-electric and low/no maintenance of the Leaf are also appealing. 

What say you?  I'm open to other options as well if any come to mind. 

Goldielocks

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 05:04:10 PM »
My gut says $8000 and 25k for the leaf.   
Lower miles may mean a better body condition which if you don't drive a ton, makes sense. 

When would the extra range matter to you with a Volt?  are you pushing the envelope frequently in a month with the Leaf?

-- note, I have sat in (owned or leased by friends) a New Leaf (small car, family car), and a NEw Volt (seemed quite executive to me, relatively speaking)... but that finish and size level difference would not matter to me, as I would be driving it myself, with one other adult, not driving clients, etc.  It would replace a 11+ year old Mazda 3 in my case, so either car works, and I would go with the lower price for the value win..

The owner of the leaf loved the reduced parking, rebates and no fuel which made the car almost free for him, but could only drive it home to work (lived near sacramento, so other cities too far).

The owner of the volt drove it everywhere without pause, and thought it equally nice to his friends Mercedes for driving to  / from work, 1 and 20 minutes each way, around 30 miles.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 02:33:23 PM by Goldielocks »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 07:10:27 PM »
Colt has that ridiculous rear visibility situation. If the Leaf's battery is good and you won't leave town much with it, go with that.

Lews Therin

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 11:26:39 PM »
I also would say $8000 Leaf.  $500 to buy 25k fewer miles with more of your miles falling under a warranty - seems like a great deal.

Leaf - only electrical drivetrain to worry about.  Volt - electrical AND internal combustion engine drivetrain to worry about. 

+1

The Volt is more complicated in repairs, costs more and has been driven more, and the difference is that it can do long trips, but since you have a gas vehicle already, you only need a commuter vehicle for everything but the very long range rides.

For anything longer than 1-1.5x LEAF range, you will be using gas on the VOLT anyways, so the MPG isn't as great for those types of trip.

Volt is great as a replacement for both vehicles, and the Leaf is the better 2nd vehicle choice.

brandonbrews

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 09:09:17 AM »
Quote
For anything longer than 1-1.5x LEAF range, you will be using gas on the VOLT anyways, so the MPG isn't as great for those types of trip.

The Volt still gets ~38 MPG on the combustion engine, which is ~13 MPG better than our primary car. 

Quote
Volt is great as a replacement for both vehicles, and the Leaf is the better 2nd vehicle choice.

Yeah, I think this is the best argument for a Leaf. 

Thanks everyone for the input.  If you have other perspectives or vehicles to advocate for, I'm still interested in hearing them. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 01:01:12 PM »
Ford Focus Electrics are also fine second-vehicle options, and they can be brought to lots of Ford dealers. Doesn't sound like you'd be using the fast charge option anyways.

Lews Therin

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 11:45:05 PM »
The Volt still gets ~38 MPG on the combustion engine, which is ~13 MPG better than our primary car. 


This sounds like a job for excel!

Calculate how many miles you drive in one trip that is further than 1-1.5x the range of the leaf (under 1.5 you can simply recharge once on the road) during the year, and then check if the difference in MPG will bring both cars closer in opportunity costs.

Though to be fair, it'll probably not be 1000$ per year, but you never know.

If both the leaf and the Volt arrive at the same opportunity costs with gas included for the whole year, you just have to test them both and pick your favorite!

t5inside

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 09:35:24 AM »
Disclaimer: I have a '14 Volt and it's the best car I've ever owned.

As a pure commuter, I agree the leaf might make more sense. With the extra range, you should be able to do your commute comfortably on electric year round. Range goes down in the winter on all electric cars, and that 35mile trip may dip into gas here and there on the Volt (in NW winters I usually get high 20's in range, in the summer almost 50 miles).

That said, if you want something that's not purely a commute appliance, the Volt is an excellent all-rounder that would get better gas mileage than your other car on long trips. The other factor is depreciation. I think the Volt will hold better value since 1) the batteries are actively managed (cooled and heated) so degradation isn't as much of a concern, and 2) even if the battery degrades, which none of them have so far, it just turns into a Prius.. Whereas the Leaf will stop moving :)

If you do want a commute appliance, look at the Fiat 500e as well.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 09:37:26 AM by t5inside »

brandonbrews

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 11:02:36 AM »
Thanks for the input t5inside.  We're in Seattle so your performance experience sounds very applicable.  The Volt is a cool car.  But it seems somewhat constrained on space and seems to have some bad blind spots.  How have those two issues been for you?

I guess the other thing I should mention is that we'll soon have our first kid, and also have a 50-lb furry child to tote around, preferably in the back.  The Chevy Spark EV and Fiat 500e might be fun smaller options, but probably won't work with the baby and dog. 

Zoot

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2017, 01:01:05 PM »
Disclaimer: I have a '14 Volt and it's the best car I've ever owned.

As a pure commuter, I agree the leaf might make more sense. With the extra range, you should be able to do your commute comfortably on electric year round. Range goes down in the winter on all electric cars, and that 35mile trip may dip into gas here and there on the Volt (in NW winters I usually get high 20's in range, in the summer almost 50 miles).

That said, if you want something that's not purely a commute appliance, the Volt is an excellent all-rounder that would get better gas mileage than your other car on long trips. The other factor is depreciation. I think the Volt will hold better value since 1) the batteries are actively managed (cooled and heated) so degradation isn't as much of a concern, and 2) even if the battery degrades, which none of them have so far, it just turns into a Prius.. Whereas the Leaf will stop moving :)

+1000 to all of this.  We own a Volt in our household.  Our commute distances (job + side hustle with no charging opportunities in between) make a Leaf impractical, and with Atlanta traffic I'd always be concerned about running out of juice during the inevitable traffic nonsense that can pop up without warning.

I actually said one day, "you know, I think the Volt may just be the perfect car; they seem to have thought of EVERYTHING."  :)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 02:32:48 PM by Zoot »

bigdoug03

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2017, 03:04:26 PM »
2013 Volt owner here, I wholeheartedly recommend the Volt. Range anxiety is real, I feel myself get a little nervous when the battery gets down to 1-2 miles even though I know I have the range extender and there's nothing to worry about. I don't think I could have a pure electric car with less than 300 mile range, it's too nerve wracking. Keep in mind when the temperature goes down so will your electric range, at 0F I get only about 40% of the range I get at 70F. There is also the issue of battery degradation in the Leaf. The Volt has a much more aggressive battery management system, so it's very rare to see much loss of electric range in a Volt.


sol

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2017, 03:23:31 PM »
Whereas the Leaf will stop moving :)

Why do you think the Leaf would stop moving?  Are you unclear on how batteries work?

Battery degradation is not like ICE engine degradation.  It doesn't just suddenly break and stop working.  The range decreases slowly, over years.

I don't think I could have a pure electric car with less than 300 mile range, it's too nerve wracking.

I've been living with a 2012 Nissan Leaf's ~80 mile range for about a year now, and we don't even charge it to 100% so really I only have about 60 miles of range.  I don't get range anxiety, because I don't take it on trips longer than about 20 miles each way and we charge it back to full every night.  We live in a town, so that distance covers my commute, all grocery stores and bix box stores, the mall (ugh), the library, the dog park, the homes of my relatives and friends, downtown, the beach, and basically everywhere else we go in a typical week.  We take our gas SUV when we go on cross-state road trips.

Other than putting air in the tires, the Leaf is essentially maintenance free.  That's a huge win for us, because we're always trying to find ways to reduce repetitive chores that suck up our time.

t5inside

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Re: 2013 Leaf VS 2013 Volt VS ???
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2017, 02:29:54 PM »
Whereas the Leaf will stop moving :)

Why do you think the Leaf would stop moving?  Are you unclear on how batteries work?

Battery degradation is not like ICE engine degradation.  It doesn't just suddenly break and stop working.  The range decreases slowly, over years.

I guess I was unclear. I mean that if the battery degrades 100% (or enough that it can't make your commute on a single charge), the Volt theoretically just runs off gas as a hybrid (which is pretty much what a Prius does). In the Leaf, you have no backup so you need to stop for a recharge sooner.


Thanks for the input t5inside.  We're in Seattle so your performance experience sounds very applicable.  The Volt is a cool car.  But it seems somewhat constrained on space and seems to have some bad blind spots.  How have those two issues been for you?

I guess the other thing I should mention is that we'll soon have our first kid, and also have a 50-lb furry child to tote around, preferably in the back.  The Chevy Spark EV and Fiat 500e might be fun smaller options, but probably won't work with the baby and dog.

It would be nice if it had blind spot monitoring, but it's not really a problem in practice. The A-pillars are thick enough to be a little convenient in dense cities, but I've really gotten used to it.

My only other complaints are lack of a sunroof, and no handle above the front side windows (due to the curtain airbags).