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hello,
I'm considering purchasing my first EV. I'm thinking about getting a Leaf from ~2012 or so with low miles, still under warranty. i'm wondering if there are significant differences between the battery capacity and range, going from the 2011 up to current model. (besides that one is newer...). I live in Vermont where capacity goes down in the winter so range is a big issue for me. Can't really afford a new car and don't want to lease because my kids and dogs will trash destroy the interior.
thanks
 

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Hi @Gary Beckwith, welcome to SpeakEV

I believe the big change happened between 2012 and 2013 Leafs.

2011s that are going off their initial 3 year lease and should be available now. As for low miles and experience in the VT winter, you'll have to shop around. I'm not sure if CarMax has locations in VT, but I've seen some Leafs in their locations in California.

One thing to consider is the 2013 (or is it the 2014) model are also the first ones that were built in the US and contributed to the big drop in MSRP for these cars.
 

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I think a huge number of people on these forums are British so be careful to check any answers - I don't think we (in the UK) had much in the way of changes from 2011 to 2012. Or even the early 2013 models! A google should turn up a guy who commuted somewhere around MD during the winter and his range was down to about 45 miles or so when it got cold.

Battery capacity has been largely unchanged on all Leafs since 2010 - range has gone up as they made them lighter and reduced the energy consumption of the heater from mid-2013 (ish, and check the US models carefully as some had the older heater I believe).
 

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Maybe you can explain a little bit more about your range requirements. E.g. my daily commute is around 105 km. The practical range I'm getting out of the LEAF is 160+ km (100 miles). Maybe in the coldest weeks that will be 20% less: 128 km. Even if the battery degrades by 10% (112 km in the winter) I'm still good to make the round trip towards the end of my lease. This constitutes around 90% of my driving needs, so going electric was no problem for me. But bear in mind I live in Holland where winters are usually moderate and the cold never lasts very long. The likelihood of a prolonged cold period coinciding with more than 10% battery degradation is not very big.

The other thing to consider is your charging options. Can you charge at home? Can you charge at work? Are there many public charging points near your regular routes?

Finally, it's worth arranging something for the longer trips. Maybe there's a car sharing program near you, or you can make a car swap deal with friends or family for when you need to go far and the electric range isn't practical.

For my needs it had to be a 2013+ Accenta or Tekna because of the more efficient heat pump. I've had it for a week now, and I absolutely love the electric drive.
 

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I live in Vermont where capacity goes down in the winter so range is a big issue for me. Can't really afford a new car and don't want to lease because my kids and dogs will trash destroy the interior.
thanks

Vermont? brrrr...

Very early production LEAF did not have the battery warmer. This small heater prevents the battery from freezing in very cold weather. As I recall it comes on when the batter temperature drops below 15F. Not exactly sure when they made the change but US model year 2012 cars have it.

If possible, keep your LEAF inside in the winter. With all versions it is possible to pre heat the car on AC power before you unplugged.


Unlike the UK, I think all versions have heated seats. Seat heaters use a lot less power then the cabin heater. (UK only gets seat heaters on upper trim levels)


We take our dogs in our Leaf all the time. I've got the factory dog guard for one and the other rides in the back seat. I have a seat cover for the back seat to keep it clean.

How far do you need to drive and how much heat do you want?
 
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