Trading in a 2020 Prius Prime for a 2020 Leaf... Should I?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Salamander_King, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    One other thing to take into account is the cost of using those public chargers. Disclaimer: I've used only one charger one time and it was free due to subsidy by the liquor store.

    While visiting family in a 50,000 person town in Oregon, the residential rate for power is 10 cents a kWh and the local charge point varies from free at one extreme to 15 cents per kWh and topping out at $7.50 an hour for a fast charge. You can get free charging at the City parking garage, but that's with a $2 per hour parking fee. In that city the charging stations seem to be vandal magnets. Several that I looked at appeared to be dead.

    In short, there are lots of power sources available, but pricing is all over the place. There are many online tools that can be used before hitting the road to (hopefully) ensure that the chargers you need are working.

    Dan
     
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  2. E-GINO

    E-GINO Active Member

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    Have you ever considered to replace both Pathfinder and Prius Prime with a RAV4 Prime? Maintaining one car instead than two is inherently cheaper than two...
     
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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeek... I am glad our state does not have that BEV (PHEV) tax, although we do have a graduated excise tax on the MSRP of the car. This is not a sales tax of the car but an annual tax paid to town at the time of registration based on the MSRP and years, which means for a 2020 Leaf SV with all the option package having MSRP of $39K, the excise tax will be $685 in 2021 instead of $507 for my 2020 PP MSRP $29K. Besides the tax increase, I know for sure BEV is going to cost me more for on-going fuel (electricity) cost to operate. (i.e. We live in a region where electricity cost more than gas.) So, even though I can get into a brand new Leaf at no cost to purchase, the overall cost to operate will increase over PP for sure. How much depends on how much driving I will do.

    For our region, AFAIK, there is no public charging option available. This may change in near future, but at least for now any BEV, Leaf or even other longer-range ones, will have to be strictly for an in-town-only car that gets charged only at home. I know there are some free charge stations in a bigger city, but I will not be traveling to those cities in a BEV. One sticking point is that our at-home charging cost is already very high at $0.21/kWh, so I will not be saving fuel cost over PP by switching to LEAF. The more I drive on LEAF more it will cost over PP.

    That is entirely possible if I remain working from home and never go back to my daily commute routine. We have tried for a while having just PP only in a household after our minivan got decommissioned. But it was very hard, and in the end, we had to get the Pathfinder to replace Sienna. Right now with the COVID-19 restriction, I am not driving PP much, but if and when I go back to my office, I will have to have a separate car. For a single-car household, I absolutely agree that RAV4 Prime is a better solution than PP alone, but we are not ready to go back to the hardship of having only one car for two drivers.
     
    #43 Salamander_King, Dec 24, 2020
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  4. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Reasonable, but again, most people comparatively rarely take big road trips.

    Oh, almost forgot: I would not recommend a Nissan LEAF if you live in hot a climate, nor if you’re buying it used and the previous owner drove it in a hot climate. That, since it has, essentially, no battery cooling system, so statistically LEAFs have really bad battery degradation in hot climates.
     
    #44 mr88cet, Dec 24, 2020
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    dealership is a non starter for me too. and the leaf hatch is a concern. i would never use it for a trip where i had to charge away from home.
     
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  6. pghyndman

    pghyndman Active Member

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    You're singing my song now!

    We love and will keep a PP, but have been considering a RAV4 Prime to replace one of our other vehicles, a MB coupe used as an occasional tow vehicle. The idea of a longer EV range with ICE backup, additional lugging capacity, and oomph when needed, with $7500 (plus $500 in my state) tax incentives tugs at my emotions.
     
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  7. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    A friend of mine is a salesman at a VW dealership and drives a VW EV. He said lease rather than buy, because BEVs depreciate rapidly. Maybe consider a used one.
     
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  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, I agree for a BEV, especially Leaf known to have a battery degradation problem, leasing is a safer bet. Two years ago, when I was looking for our second car, I considered the leasing option for LEAF and also for other BEVs, but ended up needing a much bigger car than any BEVs on market, so we bought a used Pathfinder Hybrid. Used Leaf is very risky, I do not want to take a chance. When I can buy a brand new Leaf below $20K, I don't think $15K+ 3 years old Leaf is a bargain. It's a no-brainer which is better. For the current deal, since all the end-of-year discounts and incentives work only for the purchase, I did not consider the leasing option. But I may have to do more comparative analyses of lease vs purchase to see what I will have to pay if I trade-in my PP and use the money to lease the new Leaf. I can stash excess amounts from the proceeds of trade-in in the investment account for now. Financially, I may actually do better than a no-cost trade-in purchase I am working on now. Humm, Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to do some more negotiation then.
     
    #48 Salamander_King, Dec 25, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  9. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    That’s a reasonable point, but depends upon the details of the EV. Teslas, all in all, hold their value pretty well, but a LEAF, not so much.
     
  10. pghyndman

    pghyndman Active Member

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    My understanding is that the $7500 tax incentive is for purchase, not leasing. The incentives were big motivators in our PP purchases.
     
  11. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    You are correct. Tax credit works only for the purchase. But many leasing companies include the tax incentive and other discount rebates into the calculation of lease cost. If keeping the car only for 3 years is the intended use of the car, then a lease may be easier.

    I just looked up the dealer site to see what kind of numbers they are advertising on the lease of the Leaf I am negotiating for the purchase.

    A rough comparison without adding tax and fees came up to be a huge saving on the purchase $19,978 compared to $27,261.05 for lease to purchase. However, if I am keeping the car only for three years, the lease is going to cost me $10042.70. If I purchased the car, as long as I can sell the car for more than $9936($19978-$10042) at the end of three years, I am still ahead with the purchase. I think it is very doable. At least with those numbers, even keeping only three years, the purchase seems to be still much economical.

    Edit: I did a hypothetical projection of investing the excess amount of the trade-in payment. If I can get an annual average return of 12% or better, then leasing becomes more economical than the purchasing option after 3 years. Not an impossible task, but very risky to bet on this optimistic outcome.




    Screenshot 2020-12-25 at 12.36.39 PM.png
     
    #51 Salamander_King, Dec 25, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  12. plug-one-in

    plug-one-in Junior Member

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    The purchase is pretty tempting. After reading through these posts: I think the Nissan Leaf would be an OK purchase. You won't take it on the interstate. It would be a "newer" car to you. My 2015 Nissan Leaf: although doesn't ride as well as my 2017 PP, its torque seems to be a lot stronger. Also, it seems to be quicker off the line. Another pro's I didn't mention earlier: with the Nissan Leaf: you don't have to charge it every day. I mean you can charge it every 2 to 5 days, depending on your driving habits. A con I didn't mention: my Leaf: night driving: the headlights aren't very good. Maybe the 2020 is much better. The 2017 PP: is excellent with its LED headlights. I think the Nissan Leaf or the PP will serve you well. Saying all this: between my Leaf and PP, if I had a choice to take it to do errands, I took the PP every single time (so long it has enough EV range at that moment).
     
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  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    If I continue to work from home and don't go back to daily commuting, then I can even get away with just L1 EVSE for Leaf. However, I have already purchased L2 EVSE, so I am going to install it in near future. I just need to have an electrician install a new subpanel and 50Amp 240v circuit which won't be cheap but still make the charging needs of a BEV much easier.

    Yeah, after switching to PP and having the LED headlight, this became the must-have for me. I don't do too much nighttime driving, but if I do go back to a daily commute, then my winter morning and evening commute will be during the dark hours. The Leaf SV model I am considering to purchase comes with a Technology package, which includes the LED headlight instead of a standard halogen one. I am hoping that would be as good as my current PP's headlight.
     
  14. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    I agree 100% with this. It seems many people see staying within PHEV range as the goal, but unless your main goal is to eliminate ALL gas (vs cost effective / efficiency of purchase, etc), using 100% of available charge each day is actually a benefit PHEV’s have over an EV, where if you use 100% of available charge, you are.... stranded. o_O

    Therefore, if driving a Prime the range where you deplete the battery and then drive a reasonable distance on HV after (after warmup, etc), you are using all resource designed in the car, and nothing is “wasted”. In a full EV you may drag around a heavy battery you rarely fully exploit, and in a gasser, well, you burn lots of gas and money and cause more pollution. :unsure: Lastly, a PHEV that never runs the engine carries around a heavy engine and aging gasoline that never burns, which is also inefficient if you rarely start the engine.

    So my conclusion is a drive which exceeds the EV range by a moderate amount is the “ideal” use case for a PHEV.
     
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  15. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    Are you sure they don't take some or all of the discounts, rebates, and tax credits off of the lease price?
     
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  16. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    That’s actually how I bought my used PiP in 2016. It is a rare vehicle in Canada and I negotiated with a Toyota dealer 8 hours away over the phone over a couple days. Eventually reached a verbal agreement, then booked a 1-way flight (~$200) and the sales rep met me at the airport, I brought a certified cheque, signed the paperwork and drove home. Was a bit nervous doing this, but I took faith in this was a Toyota dealer and they would hold their word and they did. The car was in excellent shape as advertised, my only complaint is the car was missing a couple accessories which they refused to replace (driver carpet floor mat - they gave me rubber mats instead), and the roller cover in the trunk, which I replaced from eBay for $100, so not the end of the world.

    That said, there certainly is risk, as they know you have already committed by travelling there, so it is a negotiating weakness if there is something that comes up you don’t like, so you need to be extra careful and analyze all details as much as you can in advance...
     
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  17. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    We have had the Leaf for 4 years, and have still never taken a trip with that vehicle where we NEEDED to charge to get there. We bought this car fully planned as a local vehicle, and we use the Prius for any sort of travel beyond 150km or so. However, we do take advantage of free charging when available. Have also never paid anywhere to charge, as it has never been *necessary*, and is always cheaper to charge at home, unless it’s free. (y)
     
  18. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    Ah, similar situation to me, with similar conclusions. :)

    One other random maintenance thing that drives me crazy about the Leaf is that Nissan doesn’t seem to care about screwing customers (or the environment...) for something like simple windshield wiper replacement.... they are designed such that the rubber blades are replaceable, but calling multiple dealer nobody “has a part number” for the rubber insert only, but can sell the whole assembly for $35! My wife replaced the three wipers once, but $100 later I was not happy... On top of that, the replacement rear blade seemed to wear out quickly (was probably on the shelf for years), and finding an aftermarket to fit that very unique 10” blade was near impossible. My solution? I went to Toyota, bough a rear wiper blade for my Prius (same width), cut about 2” off, and fed it into the wiper assembly and fit perfectly. Cost me $12 instead of $35, and I was not throwing a perfectly good assembly into landfill.

    So what is Nissan thinking there other than a cash grab? (n)

    Also, their service department has asked us on more than one occasion (dealing with warranty issues, etc.) to ask when we are bringing the car in for an oil change. Uhhh... really? Could be a local dealer quality issue, but we have also received similar promotions from Nissan marketing from head office.o_O Doesn’t inspire confidence.

    In contrast, I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Toyota dealer a block away. Even when getting my car serviced, they are very low-pressure; never tried to upsell me on anything, and told me things they see developing but don’t bother with fixing it yet, etc. Get the sense they know what they are doing, and respect their customers. Again, very anecdotal, but just makes me like Toyota better.
     
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  19. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yes, some leasing companies do. It all depends on the lease contract. You can sometimes find an excellent lease deal that is far better than a purchase deal. I have seen a Hyundai Ioniq EV lease deal for no money down $99/mo payment for a 36-month lease. The particular Lease example above advertised by the dealer I have compared to the purchase deal is not as attractive, but the leased car price is discounted by $12084. This is likely due to the fact the lessor can get the tax credit of $7500 and some other rebetes. And of course, I can haggle the lease terms further to get a better price, so it is not a fixed number. If I did not have a trade-in and did not have or do not want to pay $28K cash, then the lease deal becomes very attractive.
     
    #59 Salamander_King, Dec 25, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  20. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    As I commented before, PP is serving me very well, and I don't feel bad at all by driving my PP beyond its EV range. I have absolutely no complaint about how PP is performing or functioning for my use case. I am not trying to get rid of PP for something better or improved. For me, Prius Prime and Leaf are two totally different categories of cars. In the past, I had range anxiety on using BEV as my primary car and thought a short-range BEV would not serve my needs, but after 10 months of COVID-19 restriction, I have learned that I really do not need to do much long-distance driving. I realized that for my usual in-town daily drives, a short-range BEV would be adequate. If anything, now I feel bad that I am not driving my PP enough. Switch from PP to Leaf will let me experience and experiment with a BEV which I have not done. I guess I am looking for something new to explore in the boredom of COVID-19 confinement.
     
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