Am I crazy to consider an EV?

oilerlord

Member
Hello Everyone,

It's been a long time! We're still enjoying our Neo Jumper & Neo Jet bikes. Awesome machines. We're heading back to Phoenix next month to enjoy some riding and haul them back with us to Canada. Thanks to everyone here (Ravi, Court, etc.,) for those recommendations.

I remember having a conversation with Court about the viability of electric cars, and as it turns out it may make sense for us.

It started a few months ago with updating our lighting in the kitchen with new LED fixtures. Then we decided to change all of our incandescent bulbs to LED, followed by another look at solar energy.

Long story short, I ended up getting a killer deal on 9.4kW of used SunPower panels and a local start-up solar installer that is giving me another great deal to install them. The PV will generate about 90% of our power requirements, and our ROI is going to be around 9 years - or perhaps sooner if power rates go up. We're installing it in May.

So, the snowball effect continued...why not look at an EV as a second vehicle (to our VW diese). My wife's BMW is getting older, and only returns about 15 MPG. I understand that it isn't wise to sell a car based solely on MPG but given the price of used Nissan Leaf's (in the $10,000 - $15,000 range), I believe an argument can be made that it does makes sense.

I know this has little to do with our electric bicycles however it's going to feel great using the sun to recharge the batteries.
 

Marko

Active Member
Hello Everyone,

It's been a long time! We're still enjoying our Neo Jumper & Neo Jet bikes. Awesome machines. We're heading back to Phoenix next month to enjoy some riding and haul them back with us to Canada. Thanks to everyone here (Ravi, Court, etc.,) for those recommendations.

I remember having a conversation with Court about the viability of electric cars, and as it turns out it may make sense for us.

It started a few months ago with updating our lighting in the kitchen with new LED fixtures. Then we decided to change all of our incandescent bulbs to LED, followed by another look at solar energy.

Long story short, I ended up getting a killer deal on 9.4kW of used SunPower panels and a local start-up solar installer that is giving me another great deal to install them. The PV will generate about 90% of our power requirements, and our ROI is going to be around 9 years - or perhaps sooner if power rates go up. We're installing it in May.

So, the snowball effect continued...why not look at an EV as a second vehicle (to our VW diese). My wife's BMW is getting older, and only returns about 15 MPG. I understand that it isn't wise to sell a car based solely on MPG but given the price of used Nissan Leaf's (in the $10,000 - $15,000 range), I believe an argument can be made that it does makes sense.

I know this has little to do with our electric bicycles however it's going to feel great using the sun to recharge the batteries.

9 years ROI is pretty good. In my calculations, I was only able to get to about 15 yrs for a 10 kW system, but that's 60 deg north. How does your electricity company compensate for any e fed back to the network? Here they pay according to the electricity stock market price.

I've been thinking about "upgrading" from my M3 to i3 with the range extender. The M is quite a guzzler, I get about 17 mpg. The i3 one could run almost for free compared to that. Especially if you could use solar power to charge it.
 
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Brambor

Well-Known Member
Used Nissan Leaf for 15G sounds pretty good. Wasn't it Nissan that required a special charging station? I forgot which brand and model had that requirement.



Hello Everyone,

It's been a long time! We're still enjoying our Neo Jumper & Neo Jet bikes. Awesome machines. We're heading back to Phoenix next month to enjoy some riding and haul them back with us to Canada. Thanks to everyone here (Ravi, Court, etc.,) for those recommendations.

I remember having a conversation with Court about the viability of electric cars, and as it turns out it may make sense for us.

It started a few months ago with updating our lighting in the kitchen with new LED fixtures. Then we decided to change all of our incandescent bulbs to LED, followed by another look at solar energy.

Long story short, I ended up getting a killer deal on 9.4kW of used SunPower panels and a local start-up solar installer that is giving me another great deal to install them. The PV will generate about 90% of our power requirements, and our ROI is going to be around 9 years - or perhaps sooner if power rates go up. We're installing it in May.

So, the snowball effect continued...why not look at an EV as a second vehicle (to our VW diese). My wife's BMW is getting older, and only returns about 15 MPG. I understand that it isn't wise to sell a car based solely on MPG but given the price of used Nissan Leaf's (in the $10,000 - $15,000 range), I believe an argument can be made that it does makes sense.

I know this has little to do with our electric bicycles however it's going to feel great using the sun to recharge the batteries.
 
Hello Everyone,

It's been a long time! We're still enjoying our Neo Jumper & Neo Jet bikes. Awesome machines. We're heading back to Phoenix next month to enjoy some riding and haul them back with us to Canada. Thanks to everyone here (Ravi, Court, etc.,) for those recommendations.

I remember having a conversation with Court about the viability of electric cars, and as it turns out it may make sense for us.

It started a few months ago with updating our lighting in the kitchen with new LED fixtures. Then we decided to change all of our incandescent bulbs to LED, followed by another look at solar energy.

Long story short, I ended up getting a killer deal on 9.4kW of used SunPower panels and a local start-up solar installer that is giving me another great deal to install them. The PV will generate about 90% of our power requirements, and our ROI is going to be around 9 years - or perhaps sooner if power rates go up. We're installing it in May.

So, the snowball effect continued...why not look at an EV as a second vehicle (to our VW diese). My wife's BMW is getting older, and only returns about 15 MPG. I understand that it isn't wise to sell a car based solely on MPG but given the price of used Nissan Leaf's (in the $10,000 - $15,000 range), I believe an argument can be made that it does makes sense.

I know this has little to do with our electric bicycles however it's going to feel great using the sun to recharge the batteries.

You're installing solar panels in Alberta Canada, and expect an ROI of 9 years? Given the amount of usable sunlight that far north and the electricity cos structure in resource rich Canada, I'd really like to see the cost benefit analysis. Not doubting you but am just very surprised. If this is about an AZ house, never mind..lol

Buying an EV is no different than any other major purchase. The most expensive aspect of owning a car is depreciation, assuming that car fills your needs. Assuming your BMW is older and doesn't depreciate much year over year, is still reliable, and doesn't cost a lot to keep properly maintained (less than $1000 per year?), and is cheap to insure since you can drop collision and comprhensive insurance, who really cares that it gets 15 mpg? If you're worrying about saving the planet, keep your old car and save it from the scrap heap.

The Leaf still has plenty left to depreciate, and may not be all that useful in the expansive Canadian countryside. The Leaf has a real world range of 80 miles, and probably a lot less in cold weather... maybe 60 miles

If you want to use less gas, try to use your electric bikes more to run errands instead of your BMW... Get a nice pannier set, lights etc and turn it into a local commuter vehicle... It will save gas and extend the life of your old car!
 
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Brambor

Well-Known Member
I'm not completely sure if yearly maintenance for a BMW is less than $1000 per year. If I had to bet my money I would bet against it. :) Otherwise I kind of agree with your observations.
 
Also like to add that I own two older vehicles, 9 and 15 y.o.... Instead of replacing them, which i am able to do, I bought a nice eBike, and other bikes.. I use the bikes exclusively for local trips, like 30 miles or less.. As a result my milage on the old cars is very low, and they now have 50k miles and 38k miles respectively... Depreciation is nil at this point, and how much gas could I burn driving 5k miles a year?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
http://ecomento.com/2015/03/19/buyers-guide-used-nissan-leaf/

This article raises some interesting points about a used Leaf. I wasn't aware of the two heating systems. I think the Leaf has been a success. A lot of the cars that have been pre-announced, like the Bolt, are offering much high range numbers. I assume GM is counting on lower battery prices in a couple of years. There is a lot of new capacity, for cells, being developed. If they scale up production, even without breakthrough technology, the costs should drop.

You have to be a little lucky as (gas) cars age. One major problem and what? Any money you spend will just maintain the low value, not increase it. I hate the economics of gasmobiles. I'd actually consider an Elio, for the low cost and the high gas mileage. Elio should stop hyping the car and just settle in and produce it.

In '08 I looked at the economics of solar versus a ground source heat pump. The heating system won. I paid $1500 a year for propane to heat, and that dropped to around $300 to heat. But solar has dropped dramatically so waiting has worked out, anyway. The heat pump handles both heating and cooling. To replace the standard furnace and A/C units was pretty similar to the heat pump cost. The heat pump has now paid for itself.

People should do the numbers. They are starting to look great.
Have fun with it, really.:)
 

wa5

Well-Known Member

I've been thinking about "upgrading" from my M3 to i3 with the range extender. The M is quite a guzzler, I get about 17 mpg. The i3 one could run almost for free compared to that. Especially if you could use solar power to charge it.

i3 was just made Car Of The Year by our local motoring magazine... (IMHO Puegoet 308 or C class Benz were better picks) .. Please, Please don't forsake a piece of automotive greatness like an M3 for something as soul crushing as the i3.

i3 range extender has some issues, it works differently from something like the Volt, where the petrol engine recharges the battery. the i3 range extender runs only to power the electric drive motor, and does not recharge the battery.. being only a small motorcycle engine, the BMW extender offers reduced performance from that derived from battery power (IE performance is reduced in range extender mode)..... In Australia the range extender is a $6000 option, the upgraded charger $1500 and the super fast charger upgrade another $2500.. making it a $70000 plus on roads automobile... for something that doesn't do anything that much better than a Prius? not sure it makes sense to me as anything other than a "statement".

Total electric cars (IE with no internal combustion engine backup) don't make as much sense to me as E bike do.. E bikes have pedals to get you home,, E cars don't. (yep, I'm a "glass half empty " kind of a bloke)..
 

oilerlord

Member
You're installing solar panels in Alberta Canada, and expect an ROI of 9 years? Given the amount of usable sunlight that far north and the electricity cos structure in resource rich Canada, I'd really like to see the cost benefit analysis. Not doubting you but am just very surprised. If this is about an AZ house, never mind..lol

Buying an EV is no different than any other major purchase. The most expensive aspect of owning a car is depreciation, assuming that car fills your needs. Assuming your BMW is older and doesn't depreciate much year over year, is still reliable, and doesn't cost a lot to keep properly maintained (less than $1000 per year?), and is cheap to insure since you can drop collision and comprhensive insurance, who really cares that it gets 15 mpg? If you're worrying about saving the planet, keep your old car and save it from the scrap heap.

The Leaf still has plenty left to depreciate, and may not be all that useful in the expansive Canadian countryside. The Leaf has a real world range of 80 miles, and probably a lot less in cold weather... maybe 60 miles

If you want to use less gas, try to use your electric bikes more to run errands instead of your BMW... Get a nice pannier set, lights etc and turn it into a local commuter vehicle... It will save gas and extend the life of your old car!

Edmonton is actually an excellent part of the world to install solar power. Solar panels generate more voltage as the temperature goes down, and Alberta is (generally) mostly sunny all year round - especially when it's -20C. We don't get any incentives to install PV, so the only way to keep costs down was to save money with buying used panels. I got a killer deal both on the equipment & installation.

All cars depreciate, and for that reason; I haven't bought a new car in 30 years. Our 2004 BMW isn't "old" by any means, and there comes a point where depreciation nearly stops as long as the car keeps running. The same applies for a used EV. The Leaf is / was a $37,000 car. At $15,000, buying an EV isn't a big deal if I lose $5000 in depreciation, especially if the EV is cheap to run and has zero maintenance. I'm not getting into a debate about saving the planet. We ride electric bikes because we like it - not because we're tree huggers. My wife took a Nissan Leaf out for a test drive - and liked it. A happy wife = a happy life.
 
Edmonton is actually an excellent part of the world to install solar power. Solar panels generate more voltage as the temperature goes down, and Alberta is (generally) mostly sunny all year round - especially when it's -20C. We don't get any incentives to install PV, so the only way to keep costs down was to save money with buying used panels. I got a killer deal both on the equipment & installation.

All cars depreciate, and for that reason; I haven't bought a new car in 30 years. Our 2004 BMW isn't "old" by any means, and there comes a point where depreciation nearly stops as long as the car keeps running. The same applies for a used EV. The Leaf is / was a $37,000 car. At $15,000, buying an EV isn't a big deal if I lose $5000 in depreciation, especially if the EV is cheap to run and has zero maintenance. I'm not getting into a debate about saving the planet. We ride electric bikes because we like it - not because we're tree huggers. My wife took a Nissan Leaf out for a test drive - and liked it. A happy wife = a happy life.

Well that is true about the wife..lol.... As long as she realizes that it won't go more than 80 miles before needing a multi hour jump.

I truly think that we will see a nice range increase within the next few years, in the 200 mile range, for an affordable EV...
 

oilerlord

Member
http://ecomento.com/2015/03/19/buyers-guide-used-nissan-leaf/

This article raises some interesting points about a used Leaf. I wasn't aware of the two heating systems. I think the Leaf has been a success. A lot of the cars that have been pre-announced, like the Bolt, are offering much high range numbers. I assume GM is counting on lower battery prices in a couple of years. There is a lot of new capacity, for cells, being developed. If they scale up production, even without breakthrough technology, the costs should drop.

You have to be a little lucky as (gas) cars age. One major problem and what? Any money you spend will just maintain the low value, not increase it. I hate the economics of gasmobiles. I'd actually consider an Elio, for the low cost and the high gas mileage. Elio should stop hyping the car and just settle in and produce it.

In '08 I looked at the economics of solar versus a ground source heat pump. The heating system won. I paid $1500 a year for propane to heat, and that dropped to around $300 to heat. But solar has dropped dramatically so waiting has worked out, anyway. The heat pump handles both heating and cooling. To replace the standard furnace and A/C units was pretty similar to the heat pump cost. The heat pump has now paid for itself.

People should do the numbers. They are starting to look great.
Have fun with it, really.:)

Hi George,

Thanks for the link. Early adopters tend to get screwed. There's no way I'd drop upwards of $37,000 for a brand new Leaf, or for that matter $40,000 to install solar panels on my roof...but $15,000 and $10,000 seem reasonable. Most EV's are leased. After rebates, Leafs are (generally) leased at $200 per month - making them essentially "free" cars for drivers that would spend that much in gasoline per month. This is the biggest reason there are so many lease-returned EV's sitting on dealer lots.
 
for what it does and the market position it occupies, I think the Tesla is already a "long range" EV.

At a price of $65k+, the Tesla hits all the marks for a luxury EV.. Just don't want to spend that much for the pleasure of driving 200 miles between jumps.
 

oilerlord

Member
Here's a video posted from a Leaf owner that has driven the car for a year:


It's a rather long video, but entertaining & informative. He addresses the EV's "range anxiety" issues and other perceptions (and misconceptions) about the car. I'm not saying the car is for everyone, but EV's are somewhat of an automobile paradigm shift. He mentions that he treats his Leaf much like a cell phone (gets home, and plugs it in). I also liked his comparison about free plug-in charging stations to WiFi - businesses will offer free battery charging much like coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels offer free WiFi. Where we live, the battery charging infrastructure is nearly non-existent. That said, as a second car, a 50 mile range isn't a deal breaker since our other car is easily capable of running 700 miles on one tank of diesel.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Here's a video posted from a Leaf owner that has driven the car for a year:


It's a rather long video, but entertaining & informative. He addresses the EV's "range anxiety" issues and other perceptions (and misconceptions) about the car. I'm not saying the car is for everyone, but EV's are somewhat of an automobile paradigm shift. He mentions that he treats his Leaf much like a cell phone (gets home, and plugs it in). I also liked his comparison about free plug-in charging stations to WiFi - businesses will offer free battery charging much like coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels offer free WiFi. Where we live, the battery charging infrastructure is nearly non-existent. That said, as a second car, a 50 mile range isn't a deal breaker since our other car is easily capable of running 700 miles on one tank of diesel.

I find it ironic that we started our journey with Neo Jumper 650B and are thinking of EV's :)
I too, spend a lot of time reading up on the material from mynissanleaf forum.

I think with the launch of Chevy Volt 2016 model and 2016 leaf, we will see dramatic changes in the CPO prices. I think you're aware of this, Leaf had major battery problems in Arizona due to heat. The 2015 models come with the lizard battery which is much more resistant to temp +/- fluctuation. The replacement pack on a leaf is $5200 (for a 23KWhr). If you can get a MY2013+ with 12 bars, it's a no-brainer.
 
Here's a video posted from a Leaf owner that has driven the car for a year:


It's a rather long video, but entertaining & informative. He addresses the EV's "range anxiety" issues and other perceptions (and misconceptions) about the car. I'm not saying the car is for everyone, but EV's are somewhat of an automobile paradigm shift. He mentions that he treats his Leaf much like a cell phone (gets home, and plugs it in). I also liked his comparison about free plug-in charging stations to WiFi - businesses will offer free battery charging much like coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels offer free WiFi. Where we live, the battery charging infrastructure is nearly non-existent. That said, as a second car, a 50 mile range isn't a deal breaker since our other car is easily capable of running 700 miles on one tank of diesel.

I live South of Miami, and couldn't drive to Key Largo and back or to Fort Lauderdale and back without having to find a charger before coming home. A 100 mile drive to West Palm Beach? 100 miles.. I'd have to stop along the way for an hour or so. And I live in a large Metro area.

The Leaf is a very nice city vehicle. If you leave the city you'd better have a plan. And if you change your destination while youre out you'd better have another plan.

OTOH An electric bike with a spare battery can take me over 60 miles, and charging up while having lunch is no problem.. Just plug it in at my table!
 

oilerlord

Member
I find it ironic that we started our journey with Neo Jumper 650B and are thinking of EV's :)
I too, spend a lot of time reading up on the material from mynissanleaf forum.

I think with the launch of Chevy Volt 2016 model and 2016 leaf, we will see dramatic changes in the CPO prices. I think you're aware of this, Leaf had major battery problems in Arizona due to heat. The 2015 models come with the lizard battery which is much more resistant to temp +/- fluctuation. The replacement pack on a leaf is $5200 (for a 23KWhr). If you can get a MY2013+ with 12 bars, it's a no-brainer.

Hey Ravi!

Long time no talk.

I wasn't even considering an EV, but after a couple of years; the massive depreciation makes them affordable - even with including the eventual $5500 battery replacement. I agree that the 2nd generation 2016 Leaf (and related Infiniti EV model) will further drop prices for 1st generation models. Though range would suffer in our winter, the battery would last longer not being exposed to the 100 degree AZ desert heat. In 1-2 years, we could see see used 2013 model year Leafs in the $10,000 price range. Considering that a lot of us have spent $5000 on electric bikes, $10,000 is a lot of car for not much money.
 

Marko

Active Member
i3 was just made Car Of The Year by our local motoring magazine... (IMHO Puegoet 308 or C class Benz were better picks) .. Please, Please don't forsake a piece of automotive greatness like an M3 for something as soul crushing as the i3.
Oh yeah, the sound of those 8 cyliders firing up is something you wont get with i3. But then again, times are changing and that quad exhaust is starting to look oldfashioned. That said, the S65 engine has received a lot of design awards, none for being economical. Still, l love the ride.
 
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