Author Topic: Which electric car should I get?  (Read 1728 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Which electric car should I get?
« on: March 29, 2015, 09:14:02 AM »
Part of my job is to test if charging stations are working, so I need an electric car. Also, because of the tax system in Norway, it is the cheapest thing you can drive (no road tax, free ferries, free fuel, etc). I used to drive an old leaf, but totalled it a few weeks ago. So now the insurance money are sitting in the bank earning interest.

I have 120 000 NOK ($16 000) from the old car, and some extra money I can put towards a good deal. I need a car that is speed charger compatible, preferably ChaDeMo. Also, I need 3-4 seets so the kids will fit. So Buddy, Think and Reva are not options (unfortunately). After that it all comes down to range:

The triplets (Mitsubishi i-Miev, Peugeot ion, Citroen C-Zero): 60-80 km in winter, price from 89 000 NOK and upwards.
1. gen Nissan Leaf: 80-100 km in winter, 119 000 NOK and upwards.
2. gen Nissan Leaf: 20-30 km more than the 1. gen.

The cheapest leaves are the imported US models. If I get one of those, the navigation system in the car doesn't work, the radio is crap, the warranty is not as good, and there is a greater risk that the batteries have been damaged by heat. But I can save ~20 000 NOK.



  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Which electric car should I get?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 09:35:35 AM »
You can't get the absurdly cheap US Leaf Lease, can you?  They're going here for something like $200/mo on lease for a 2 year lease, and people I know with them are having no trouble at all extending the lease out further at the same rate.

If the Leaf works for you, get another one, and don't get one from Phoenix or other places in the southwest.  They're the only areas hot enough for it to really have trouble.  Nobody I know in the Seattle area with a Leaf is complaining about range dropping.  Besides, your job is literally going charging station to charging station. :p

I do know that Nissan has an updated battery pack that they claim works better in the hot, and are offering it as a free warranty replacement for people with heat-damaged packs.  I don't know if that would still apply if you imported it, though.

I do know that the compressor-based heating is worth a good bit of range in the winter over the purely resistive heater in the 1st gen, so that's worth considering if you're roaming around in the cold a lot (6kW of heater elements does a number on the range).

I'd say the second gen Leaf is probably the sweet spot for what you're doing, and if you can deal with a US import's limitations (cram a cheap TomTom GPS in the windshield and use your cell phone for music), saving the money there makes sense.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Which electric car should I get?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 12:48:32 PM »
Don't think I can lease a car in a different country. But I have considered buying one from the US and importing it myself. Don't know where the good deals can be found?

Heat is an issue most of the year here, and I also am tempted by the 6.6kW charger that some of the newer ones have. Those things will make a difference in my every day life. My old car had a previous life in California, and the batteries on that one had taken a hit. But it was still usable.