Sunday, November 23, 2014

TCO Equals ZERO!!!

On Wednesday, I booked 78 miles of personal transportation for work which they will reimburse me at the rate of probably 39 cents per mile. This brings my total reimbursement in the LEAF for 2014 to roughly $4352.

So what does that mean?  Well in 2014,  my expenses were

Lease @ $245.75 a month or $2949
Insurance   $837  (5 months at $68 and probably 7 months at $71)
electricity/public charging fees estimated;  $375  (YTD $342.71)
Tabs; $179.75 which does include a $100 EV penalty fee (I call it like it is!!) and a $30 Seattle Seahawk custom plate fee (wouldn't leave home without it!)  other than that, WA State tabs are fairly cheap if you don't live in the rapid transit district up north :)

But all that adds up to... oh wait!  Maintenance was about $10 for windshield wipers although they have not been installed yet.  so "that" adds up to $4,350.75

which means my total cost of ownership for the rest of the year is PAID OFF!!

Now, in all fairness, I should mention this has not been without repercussions since I am nearly 17,000 miles on my LEAF with 5 weeks left in my first year of my 15,000 mile annual lease.  So I should probably add  $300 to the cost of TCO for a lease mileage penalty... BUT I AM NOT!!! (Mostly because I don't want to delete this post...)

Actually, I will likely just break even this year and considered removing items that were not required for the car like the Seahawks tab costs but then again, would that be a true TCO?  I guess it could be a true CO... or FCO (false cost of ownership?)  or maybe I am putting too much into it. I did spend $10.87 on wiper blades that I have yet to install. I could wait till January.  But anyway, on the break even comment; if anyone remembers, I did break my passenger side view mirror mount and it was $239 to replace that piece of plastic so that will probably push my true TCO nearer to Christmas than Thanksgiving but I still have plenty to be thankful for!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Buyers BEWARE!!! This is a MUST READ!!

This concerns a purchase of a used 2011 Nissan LEAF VIN 222 from Tacoma Nissan in July of this year.  The car came with 34,000+ miles and 12 capacity bars on it. This is not unusual for the Pacific Northwest as I turned in my 2011 LEAF VIN 258 with nearly 45,000  miles and all 12 capacity bars intact.  I was at 57.11 ahr so still had a few thousand miles to go on bar 12. ( most report losing first capacity bar in the mid to low 54's)

But the honeymoon did not last as she recently lost bar #10 (3 bars gone) a few days ago. How could this have happened.  She posted on Facebook about her dilemma and a 2011 is a rather rare model and the interest of such a model was great so my first thought; "What is your VIN?"  and as luck would have it; it was a very well known VIN.

It took a bit of searching (and help) but found this posted Jan 15, 2014

I had a SoCal 3 bar loser:

Car 222 omkar Irvine, CA
3 bars lost at 35 months (11/19/2013) / 33,700 miles
2 bars lost at 29 months (5/25/2013) / 29,500 miles
1 bar lost at 20 months (9/5/2012) / 19,000 miles
Previous owner verifying 3rd bar lost 8 months before Tacoma purchase
This is a major problem and no less heinous as rolling back an odometer to increase a car's resale value. But that is really the only clear part here. Who is to blame? The car came from out of state so it was likely a auction purchase. What did Tacoma Nissan know about the car's history? It is conceivable that they were as much in the dark as anyone else. The owner said there does appear to be several entries in CARFAX but was unable to get details of the report without paying for it.

The VIN in question is JN1AZ0CP6BT000222.  Knowing the details of that report might shed some light on how duplicitous  Tacoma Nissan's role is in this scenario.

Either way, this is an issue that needs to be resolved ASAP and I encourage everyone who reads this to pass it around as much as you can. We need to get the word out! This is something that cannot go unnoticed!!

I will be posting MUCH more about this as it comes in!!

**Update; We shall soon have the warranty history and carfax info which hopefully will tell us what was known, when it was known and who knew what was known.

Here is a pix of her car taken Aug 3, 2014 after a few days of ownership. Notice all 12 bars are showing??

Stay tuned!!


Ok, a VERY GOOD LEAF tech advised that the capacity bars being reset is an unavoidable consequence when performing several functions with the pack.  So the ultimate act could be happening without any malice intended


This in no way removes the dealership's responsibility to provide full disclosure to a potential buyer.  LEAF Spy has grown from a "garage" app to THE  de facto standard for monitoring and recording LEAF Pack performance.   Maybe its time to add to the CARFAX report?  I now see reputable Nissan dealers offering to give LEAF Spy readings to potential customers which is awesome but this does not address shady used car dealers and maybe its time that new laws are enacted to require verified battery status reports including dates of any all BMS resets.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Are My LEAFs Ecopias Really That Bad?

Just the other day I was wandering up I-5 just south of Highway 167 when suddenly the car in front of me spun out of control. I then saw a truck tire tread in the roadway and swerved out of its path by violently jerking the wheel in the pouring rain.   I did realize about halfway thru my maneuver that it was simply too severe and let off on the wheel a bit correcting back so I essentially ended up altering my path of travel by only a few feet at the most. To my surprise, I did not break traction even slightly.

Now I do drive a bit slower than most and because of my neutral driving habits, I tend to maintain a larger than normal following distance mixed in with shorter than normal following distances especially if I was caught shifting back to drive a bit late.  But all this happens at pretty low speeds and there have been times where vigorous braking was needed to keep the peace (and pieces) together. In all those situations, my LEAF handled well. I attribute it mostly to a very low center of gravity and the extra traction a heavy battery pack can give.

Now as mentioned several times, my plan had always been to drive the Corolla much more than this past Summer and so far the plan is working somewhat.  Yesterday while running errands for work in Tukwila, I could not help but notice a few times I braked that the Corolla breaks traction MUCH easier than the LEAF.  Ok, so its lighter but I was not going faster... or was I?

The LEAF's super smooth ride and stability in cornering has lulled me a bit I think.  It only took one time for me to realize that the Corolla has to be at least 10-15 MPH slower thru the roundabouts in the neighborhood.  I do admit to not touching the brakes entering the roundabouts in the LEAF. It is part of the fun of EVing; zipping and dashing at 35 MPH or less!  The car is perfect for congested, in-town driving. Its responsive acceleration at low speeds are perfect for squeezing into that momentary opening before it vanishes!

Well, that extra weight has seemingly helped with low speed braking.  Now, the Corolla is a 2000 and does not have anti lock brakes which really makes a lot of difference; much more difference than I had imagined.  All these modern advances has essentially degraded our ability to drive. No wonder we suck on the road!

But what I really would like is feedback from anyone who drives the LEAF and a newer gasser enough to be able to compare them. Now, not looking for Porsche comments. I want someone who has a run of the mill passenger car with ABS at the very least to chime in.  Does the LEAFs added stability and low center of gravity overcome the shortcomings of its tires as compared to a passenger car with better tires?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 2014 Driving Stats

OK, I know I said I was parking the LEAF more and using the Corolla and that is the plan (although, I didn't really start using the Corolla until this week) although it was a bit slow in being implemented. Now we just had a all time record warm October so the "Winter Range hit" was more "dirty look" category than "hit."

The LEAF still managed to go 1622 miles for a cost of $39.82 which includes $8.82 in public charging fees. The bit hit was Blink and its new pay per Kwh pricing. I had to use them to show my support and once it was vital as I was in a major time crunch (perfect time to switch to the Corolla but the weather was gorgeous and... well, you know!) so fast charging was the only option. $435.24 has been reimbursed from work so far with another $80 or so pending.  There was a glitch in last month's paycheck so some of what I got this month by rights should have been received last month but whatever. As long as I get it, that is all that matters.

The Corolla paid off some of its ROI debt driving 411 miles at cost of roughly $33.70. The huge drop in gas prices was a big help lowering per mile fuel costs to 7.7 cents per mile. Work payout so far $102.96 with nearly $100 pending (remember, I just started driving the car this week...)

This month both cars received additional charges. The LEAF has decent wiper blades since I use RainX extensively so the wipers don't do as much duty as you might think living in the rainy Pacific Northwest but Costco had sales on wiper inserts at $4.50 each so to be cheap like I am, I got two of the 22" blades (driver's side....don't care if passenger can see where I am going) that I will need one day. Cost $9.09.

Which brings me to the Corolla. EVing has created some pretty bad habits for me and that is not caring about maintenance. What can I say? its hard to care about next to nothing! Well, the Corolla was neglected. This week when driving it for the first time in 3 weeks, I noticed the temp gauge riding a notch higher than normal. So I checked water; ok. Checked oil and it was 2  quarts low! OH NO! That gasser POS is gonna cost me a fortune! So went back to Costco, got a case of oil for $27.23.

Oh well. FYI; I am about 600 miles away from being due for an oil change! another month of no ROI gains coming up, but then again, since I am now 1,000 miles past my lease mileage with almost 2 months to go this year, i might have to drive the Corolla a bit more this month