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Topic # 189144 18-Dec-2015 08:48
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Since I am in Flick and can take advantage of lower cost off-peak electricity and have two cars I was thinking of moving to an EV. The use would be for commuting (Wellington suburbs to city each day) and could be charged night. For longer trips I have a fuel guzzling 4l V8 :--(


The NIssan Leaf looks interesting and I was led to EV Imports. But pricing for the Leaf ranges from $23K for a Gen 1 2012 with 12K to over $34K for a later model. Even at $23K it's going to be a hard sell since I could get a small Japanese compact for $10K assuming 12K a year driving, and say 10L/100km then that's only about $2268 in fuel PA.

That notwithstanding if I were environmentally conscious, and I went EV, do folks have any knowledge of the differences between Gen 1 and Gen 2 Leafs and EV Imports as a dealer?

Thanks




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  Reply # 1452852 18-Dec-2015 09:41
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Gen 2 comes with more efficient cabin heater and stronger regenerator; both help increase driving range. A bit more info can be found on Ecobob: https://www.ecobob.co.nz/forum/ecobob-cafe/nissan-leaf-15572/.

Apart from petrol savings, EV doesn't require regular maintenance apart from tyres ans braking pads. Even though, some may still find uneasy to justify a Leaf over a JP compact hatchback.




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  Reply # 1452913 18-Dec-2015 11:43
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Thanks. Given my driving would be city driving with daily charging it seems the difference between G1 and G2 is not worth paying for. Of course as you note and the challenge I am facing, is the cost/benefit of an EV versus petrol compact.

The only EV I have driven is the BMW i3 which I drove in the US as a friend has one. It took a bit to get used to the regenerative braking but it was very peppy and nice to drive. I have no idea if the Leaf is at that level.




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 1453234 18-Dec-2015 20:55
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Over the last two weeks I have been looking more closely at getting a used Leaf. There is a Gen2 currently on the lot at Gazley Wellington (model S with NZ radio/GPS added - can't be done with higher spec models). I have sent a list of questions to the dealership because I am concerned that paying >$30k might see high depreciation if there are battery issues and it seems very little warranty on the battery (even if quite new).

The slightly reduced range of the Gen1 is possibly less of an issue than the battery health of individual cars. If your range requirements are modest (e.g. < 80km) there should be more headroom and the savings with a Gen1 are significant (if you don't mind the light coloured interior).

I think it can be hard to justify the Leaf compared to ICE purely on financial grounds but getting pretty close and some use cases would have electric leading. Battery replacement cost for Leaf has now been set so if you buy a Gen1 the savings compared to Gen2 go most of the way to a new pack. Gen2 nicer, especially heater, but pay premium.

EVImports seem ok to deal with from my brief discussions and the other forum referenced above had a happy customer. There are other options - Auckland based Autolink has quite a few and has customers down here; Nissan dealers like Gazley have had to start bringing in imports due to lack of new cars and they have more due.

I am very interested in other observations. Sorry I can't give feedback as an owner and have only driven Gen1 but I am impressed with what Nissan has done and they deserve support.

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  Reply # 1455754 23-Dec-2015 06:29
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Road user charges will be levied on your electric car from July 2020 which will increase your per km running costs by approximately 160%. Also add to that the cost of replacing the battery once during the car's working life if maintaining range is important.

 

 


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  Reply # 1455758 23-Dec-2015 07:15
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I saw the Leaf you were talking about at Gazleys. I like the concept and level of appointment in the vehicle, but oh Nissan, do you have to wrap the package up in such an ugly shell?
It looks like the Juke's ugly cousin, and that's being kind.




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  Reply # 1455799 23-Dec-2015 08:26
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bfginger: Road user charges will be levied on your electric car from July 2020 which will increase your per km running costs by approximately 160%. Also add to that the cost of replacing the battery once during the car's working life if maintaining range is important.

Has it been confirmed that RUC will be added in 2020? The exemption was pushed out to 2020 and depending on what incentives may be needed could go further out. The cost of the fuel is still very low - using today's pricing maybe $3 for 130km so if comparing to diesel (which has RUC) still seems a lot cheaper.

I agree battery replacement costs need to be considered. Leaf battery currently priced at about US$5500 for the whole pack but can have cells only replaced. Price and capacity will improve over time. Jury is still out on pack life but does seem to degrade and sensible to consider replacement if considering 10+ years (as is common in NZ) but the good news is not much else should fail.

Total cost of ownership when including servicing starts to favour electric. Service on Leaf is about $100 whereas I paid $400 for petrol car (to keep warranty). Over 10 years that goes a long way towards other differences.

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  Reply # 1455858 23-Dec-2015 10:34
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bfginger: Road user charges will be levied on your electric car from July 2020 which will increase your per km running costs by approximately 160%.


When a good number of countries overseas offer incentives to encourage the adoption of EVs, we are surprisingly walking the opposite way.

bfginger: Also add to that the cost of replacing the battery once during the car's working life if maintaining range is important.


That's why I am still waiting to see more from a NISSAN dealer instead of an importer. Future technical support seems crucial to me, especially when it comes to the main battery.



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  Reply # 1455866 23-Dec-2015 10:54
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I can't seem to get my wife on board with this. So now I am looking at a compromise viz. a Prius. Just worried about battery life on used/imports and the cost of replacements. But I guess the same would apply to the Leaf?




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  Reply # 1455884 23-Dec-2015 11:05
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GeekRay:
bfginger: Road user charges will be levied on your electric car from July 2020 which will increase your per km running costs by approximately 160%.


When a good number of countries overseas offer incentives to encourage the adoption of EVs, we are surprisingly walking the opposite way.



Not really ... the roads still need to be built and maintained, EVs are not magically non-impacting to the roads and the money has to come from somewhere ... they get a free ride till 2020 that's pretty nice!

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  Reply # 1455912 23-Dec-2015 11:33
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Mark:
Not really ... the roads still need to be built and maintained, EVs are not magically non-impacting to the roads and the money has to come from somewhere ... they get a free ride till 2020 that's pretty nice!

I think EV's got the exemption partially because a) RUC would likely kill the market, ( Having to pay 60c/km is a pretty steep rate)

Additionally b) it would draw huge attention to the problem with RUC for light vehicles, that captures every thing up tp 3.5 Tonne at the same rate, ( and to be honest the 6 tonne rate is only marginally better)

LIght diesel owners have been banging on about it for years, with no response from government, and I think NZTA are not wanting to address the issue of having a fair RUC for small cars (sub 2 ton) at a price of about 1/3 the curret price - which would subsequently increase the rates for all other types- i.e trucks, and that would buy a huge fight with the trucking industry,

So for the sake of 800 vehicles ( as at 30 Nov) they kicked the can down the road,

My guess is that if EVs are less than 5000 in 2020, they will continue with the exemption.....

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  Reply # 1456840 24-Dec-2015 23:50
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Light vehicle road user charges are 6.2c/km versus the 3.6c/km for electricity to run the Leaf on a typical c/kWh rate. That would be 9.8c/km total versus around around 12.5c/km for an efficient petrol car. Factor in 2c/km for batteries and the running costs for electrics are similar to petrol once RUCs are restored. .Having electric cars disincentivised by being made to subsidise trucks wouldn't make sense.

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  Reply # 1459659 31-Dec-2015 21:34
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Mercury Energy is running full page newspaper advertisements for electric cars. They're offering night rate discounts for electric car owners

 


http://www.mercury.co.nz/ev

 

 


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  Reply # 1459708 1-Jan-2016 08:11
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Maybe the answer re RUCs is to take the levy off petrol and charge every vehicle RUCs. At least that way I wouldn't be paying 60c a litre (or what ever the levy is) to run my boat.
It is interesting to include the cost of battery replacement in the overall running costs of an EV. You would need to do the same for the maintenence involved in an internal combustion engine wouldn't you?
I was speaking to a friend about his visit to America recently where he hired an electric Ford Focus. His first comment was "golf cart". He owns a petrol one here, as do I, and was disappointed by its performance, and I think that (and range) will be at the centre of people's reluctance to go EV. At least the e-Focus looked half decent.
Once a battery can store as much energy as a tank of gas then we will be getting somewhere (literally).




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  Reply # 1459722 1-Jan-2016 09:04
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bfginger: Mercury Energy is running full page newspaper advertisements for electric cars. They're offering night rate discounts for electric car owners

http://www.mercury.co.nz/ev

Thanks for the link. Great to see Mercury promoting EVs although those paper ads somehow were not noticed by several people I spoke to.

That night rate is still quite high. Down here in Wellington on Genesis we have a night rate of $0.1134 (-10% prompt payment, +12.5% GST) which gives good savings with a large HWC on a timer. This should drop a full charge cost (for say full cycle 24kW) to under $3. If night use increases that rate will probably rise but still very cheap for about 130km with good comfort and performance.

One related item is the chargers supplied may not make full use of this. One option from EVImports is 8A (to use standard plug) so won't get a full charge from 11pm to 7am. Probably minor issue but if had the option of faster (e.g. 15A standard charger) get better power savings.

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  Reply # 1459728 1-Jan-2016 09:23
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Dingbatt: Maybe the answer re RUCs is to take the levy off petrol and charge every vehicle RUCs. At least that way I wouldn't be paying 60c a litre (or what ever the levy is) to run my boat.
It is interesting to include the cost of battery replacement in the overall running costs of an EV. You would need to do the same for the maintenence involved in an internal combustion engine wouldn't you?
I was speaking to a friend about his visit to America recently where he hired an electric Ford Focus. His first comment was "golf cart". He owns a petrol one here, as do I, and was disappointed by its performance, and I think that (and range) will be at the centre of people's reluctance to go EV. At least the e-Focus looked half decent.
Once a battery can store as much energy as a tank of gas then we will be getting somewhere (literally).

RUCs is a minefield with light vehicles paying excessive rates. We don't have any other incentives for EVs (e.g. tax credits) and with NZ large % of renewable energy I believe more needs to be done to wean us off fossil fuel. At least 2020 for EV exemption is a while away.

Nissan has set the price of the full pack at US$5500. At current pricing for fuel, using the calculations on Mercury website, I think there is room to afford some battery costs with the power savings. Capacity continues to improve (new Leafs now have 30 kWhr option giving useful range increase) and 60 kWhr pack under development. Prices will hopefully drop further. Pure EVs like the Leaf will only appeal to a smaller group now and probably not brilliant financial choice but not totally silly either. Maintenance savings can also be significant but battery remains big ticket.

On performance side, I test drove a Gen2 two days ago and was impressed with the power and in no way was the Leaf like a golf cart. Off the lights it felt as powerful as our 2 litre cars and up the highway hills it was accelerating as fast as our petrol if it had been taken down a couple of gears. Got comment from daughter in the back when put foot down to accelerate up to 100 kmh about the good power.

If anyone reading this has some thought they might want to buy a Leaf, work out your own needs and if you could cope with range anxiety (yes it stops dead on the side of the road if you ignore warnings) and want one then get a test drive.

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