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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I'm new to the EV world and need some tips and advice. I am looking to buy a second car, mainly to be used by my wife for town driving or distances upto 50 mile round trip.

We have a baby on the way so need a car which can fit a buggy!
My options are either Renault zoe or Nissan leaf. I'm put off the battery lease option but need some tips from current EV owners.

I've seen a Zoe 2014 model @33000miles selling at £4900. I've also seen a Nissan leaf 2016 30Kwh battery with 45000 miles selling for £8500. I'm wondering if it's worth spending this much for the Leaf? My budget was £7500 but looked up the 30kwh leaf due to range anxiety! I've been told that Zoe 2014 model will get about 60-80miles in winter and about 80 in the summer. Whilst leaf will get closer to 100miles.
Any advice welcome :)
 

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2021 Hyundai Kona Ultimate 64kWh
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If you get a LEAF30 With a VERY Good battery you might be able to get close to 100 miles on the very warmest days but I think that's a little optimistic these days. At the age they are now getting to, battery degradation will be limiting the performance and real world range will be lower. With that said it may still be worthwhile since you're getting a bigger car, overall bigger battery, faster rapid charging, and something generally more solidly built. You're also avoiding the battery lease which you siad you don't like the idea of.

The Zoe will work out more expensive if you choose to buy the battery for it too. Not to mention that you will be getting a car that's 2 years older and more likely to be needing some kind of repairs. The only thing really going for it is that it has a proper battery cooling system that may help keep it healthier for longer, though you are already starting off with a smaller battery anyways.

If it was me, I would probably get myself an OBD Dongle and start looking at LEAFs, making an effort to find an example that has the healthiest battery I can find, then continue to look after it after purchase. I would have more confidence in buying a 30kWh LEAF over a ZE20 Zoe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your advice. Can I ask what an OBD dongle is?
This leaf I've seen has 12 full battery bars so far.
 

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Our Zoe used to carry a double buggy quite happily. But worth checking as not all push chairs will fit.

The other benefit of the Zoe is 22 kW AC charging (or more) so you have more options for charging.
 

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The battery buy out cost for this will only be around £2,500 maximum. So should still work out cheaper than the Leaf.
Yea, as above, you can buy out the battery on any leased Zoe model. The battery will have a 8yr warranty on it I believe.

Your estimates on the range are about right.
 

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Thank you for your advice. Can I ask what an OBD dongle is?
This leaf I've seen has 12 full battery bars so far.
OBD = On Board Diagnostics. All modern cars have a little socket hidden somewhere (usually hidden above the driver footwell) where you can connect a diagnostic device.

The 12 bars look promising. But you can get a little Bluetooth device you plug in to the car and connect to your phone running an app like leafspy and it will show you much more detail about the battery health and its history.

If you take a look around these forums you'll see regular mentions of using such a tool prior to purchasing a used EV.
 

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I think that given the chance you should drive them both if you can. Before I bought my Zoe I went to drive Leaf... I was much happier with the Zoe. The Leaf is more spacious inside, no question but Zoe drives (for me anyway) much, much better. For your budget of £7500 I think that you can find much, much newer and better Zoe.
On well known auction website there are several 2015/16 examples with under 30 000 miles for almost 2K under your budget and as @cah197 mentioned the battery buyout from Renault will be around 2/2.5k so you will end up with all in within your budget.
 

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If you get a LEAF30 With a VERY Good battery you might be able to get close to 100 miles on the very warmest days but I think that's a little optimistic these days. At the age they are now getting to, battery degradation will be limiting the performance and real world range will be lower. With that said it may still be worthwhile since you're getting a bigger car, overall bigger battery, faster rapid charging, and something generally more solidly built. You're also avoiding the battery lease which you siad you don't like the idea of.

The Zoe will work out more expensive if you choose to buy the battery for it too. Not to mention that you will be getting a car that's 2 years older and more likely to be needing some kind of repairs. The only thing really going for it is that it has a proper battery cooling system that may help keep it healthier for longer, though you are already starting off with a smaller battery anyways.

If it was me, I would probably get myself an OBD Dongle and start looking at LEAFs, making an effort to find an example that has the healthiest battery I can find, then continue to look after it after purchase. I would have more confidence in buying a 30kWh LEAF over a ZE20 Zoe.
I have a 5 year old 30kwh Leaf Tekna and easily get over a hundred miles with 90.5% SOH on the battery.

This was in the UK in spring as well before conditions warmed up. The max range is about 110 - 112 miles although I got 115 miles out of it recently with the warmer temperatures.

There is no point comparing a Leaf in a warm climate to a Leaf in the UK. In the warm states the battery's degrade much faster as no active cooling. I drive it in B mode and those figures are without air con and heating. In winter I would pre heat using the charger although I don't expect that range in cold conditions. Probably 90 miles ish.

In general what I would say is the Leaf is a proper 5 seat family hatchback with a decent sized boot. The cabin is similar in size to the Quasqui although the boot is smaller obviously.

The Zoe is a city car really. Also reliability wise if you look on here the Zoe doesn't seem great there seems to be far more issues Vs the Leaf. Every time I come on here there seems to be another thread with an issue with a Zoe. Other than corrosion on the front strut towers which can be avoided and abused batteries there seems to be very few issues with Gen 1 leafs.

The first Gen Leaf is reliable especially the later gen one models and does well on industry rankings. The last time I looked the Zoe wasnt in the top 10 most reliable EVs. The gen 1 leaf was 4th from memory.

Finally there a much better selection of used Leafs Vs Zoe's they sold in bigger numbers giving a better selection to choose from.

This is also a benefit when it comes to sourcing used parts at affordable prices if you are going to keep the car a while.

The Leaf is also made in the UK and I think it's good to support UK manufacturers at this time.

Personally I wouldn't buy a French car on principle with the way they have acted towards the UK in recent years.
 

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This isn't correct at all. I have a 5 year old 30kwh Leaf Tekna and easily get over a hundred miles with 90.5% SOH.

This was in the UK in spring as well before conditions warmed up. The max range is about 110 - 112 miles although I got 115 miles out of it recently with the warmer temperatures.

There is no point comparing a Leaf in a warm climate to a Leaf in the UK. In the warm states the battery's degrade much faster as no active cooling.
In the real world? Or what the GOM tells you? When I got mine new I would always get about 126 miles or so with a full battery on the GOM and in the real world was getting 1 mile = 1%.

Even a 12 Bar LEAF now will have lost this and I wouldn't want to take it more than say 60 miles or so at motorway speeds and maybe no more than 80 at lower speeds on a warm day.

If you want UK based examples of this you simply have to ping someone like @/Aragorn who has been happy to share their real world experiences in the past. I believe they also (only just) have 12 bars remaining on theirs too.
 

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When sold at 55,000 miles and 86% SOH my Leaf 30 could just about manage 100 miles on a pleasant warm day. This was still with 12 bars showing - the first bar goes at 85%. On a normal winters day I was getting about 80 miles of range.

My wife still drives a Zoe 40 and on similar mileage is seeing about 130 in winter and 150 in summer, but the vehicle the OP is discussing is clearly an earlier model with smaller capacity. For round town use it probably won't be an issue, but consider than most people when they get a first EV in these circumstances end up shift as much driving as they can onto it as they're typically so much nicer to be in and cheaper to run than ICE!

Having driven plenty of miles in both I prefer the Leaf considerably in terms of comfort, quietness etc, and the boot is really quite large and there was a fair bit of space in the back seats for child seats and access to. The Zoe boot is still big but probably not such convenient shape for buggies (although I have never tried to fit one in) and the back seat space is definitely smaller - makes my back ache just thinking about trying to get small children in and out!

The looks of the Leaf can be "challenging" tho, and my wife much prefers the look of Zoe. I have to agree the Leaf is a funny looking thing; best viewed in the dark from a distance ;)
 

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In the real world? Or what the GOM tells you? When I got mine new I would always get about 126 miles or so with a full battery on the GOM and in the real world was getting 1 mile = 1%.

Even a 12 Bar LEAF now will have lost this and I wouldn't want to take it more than say 60 miles or so at motorway speeds and maybe no more than 80 at lower speeds on a warm day.

If you want UK based examples of this you simply have to ping someone like @/Aragorn who has been happy to share their real world experiences in the past. I believe they also (only just) have 12 bars remaining on theirs too.
Real world of course range wise.

Like I said B mode no heating or Aircon. It's how you drive it as well obviously.

I only got it in Feb some cold days but not freezing so this is not cold winter range we are talking about. 1 miles doesn't = 1% of range in my experience in cold weather this could well be the case but not currently.

I know exactly what range I get from trip counter. I don't usually charge it to 100% I don't need the range and better for the battery staying at 80% max charge.

I don't need to ask anyone on this I have one that is used regularly in the UK. The range figures you are quoting simply not accurate in my experience. I did an 80 mile round trip to my sisters recently over half of which was on the motorway (I stayed at 60 or below being honest ) I still had 30 miles range when I got back. To say a 30kwh leaf with a decent battery can only do 80 miles on a motorway is crazy....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think that given the chance you should drive them both if you can. Before I bought my Zoe I went to drive Leaf... I was much happier with the Zoe. The Leaf is more spacious inside, no question but Zoe drives (for me anyway) much, much better. For your budget of £7500 I think that you can find much, much newer and better Zoe.
On well known auction website there are several 2015/16 examples with under 30 000 miles for almost 2K under your budget and as @cah197 mentioned the battery buyout from Renault will be around 2/2.5k so you will end up with all in within your budget.
I have actually driven both, but I test drove a 40kwh battery Zoe so not a real comparison to the 1st gen Zoe which is more inclined to my budget. I personally preferred the Leaf (although I test drove a 2012 model and I quite liked the cream interior!!).
I have only looked at Auto trader for used cars. Can you recommend me some of these auction sites please?
 

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Albeit with a larger budget I've faced the same decision and went with the Zoe. The model we've got has no rapid charge capability, but actually having 22kW AC charging is a real benefit in some areas where rapids are rare but three phase AC is common. With the older leafs having 3.3kW AC charging could be limiting, though if there are compatible rapids you have that benefit. Essentially they're both decent cars, so worth seeing which you prefer. I found the boot of the Zoe surprisingly spacious.
 

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The Leaf is also made in the UK and I think it's good to support UK manufacturers at this time.

Personally I wouldn't buy a French car on principle with the way they have acted towards the UK in recent years.
We’re talking about second hand cars, so it makes sod all difference towards your nationalist tendencies.
 

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I stayed at 60 or below being honest
And there we have it. I assume you're talking about what the car indicates as 60 here too? The UK LEAFs especially have the most optimistic speedometers I've ever seen. To do an actual 70mph you have to do around an indicated 77.

If you're saying you were at or below 60 on the motorway you were probably only in the low 50's in reality.

I can entirely believe that you can get closer to that sort of range on the motorway at those speeds if it's dry, the wind is in your favor, and you're making minimal use of the heating/AC.

I fully acknowledge that 'Real world' is a difficult term because everyone is different in the real world. But I don't think I'd be the only one to say you need to exercise caution if a potential buyer is expecting 100 miles out of one as this won't always be the case.
 

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My Daughter and Son in Law just bought a Zoe ZE40 and it fits my Granddaughters buggy perfectly in the boot of the Zoe, so it meets that requirement. Obviously with a leased battery you don't have any battery anxiety's as Renault will replace it once it gets below 75% SOH I believe if you buy the battery you only have a limited warranty on the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks all for your advice/comments. So I'm wondering if it's worth paying 2k more for a 30kwh leaf @45000miles compared to a 24kwh model with similar mileage, perhaps a year older model. Question here is : is there going to be a significant improvement with mileage to quell some of that range anxiety?! Has anyone here used both battery models to help me decide? I would tend to go for a car with 12 battery bars or at worst 11.
 

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I have actually driven both, but I test drove a 40kwh battery Zoe so not a real comparison to the 1st gen Zoe which is more inclined to my budget. I personally preferred the Leaf (although I test drove a 2012 model and I quite liked the cream interior!!).
I believe the 1st generation model (cream interior) is "to be avoided", as the boot is compromised by a hump in the floor where the charging equipment went, and also by an unreliable electric handbrake. I think this was also the original battery chemistry which was improved by the time production was switched from Japan to UK.

The earlier Zoe is a 22kWh battery, so substantially less range than the 40kWh you drove. I think the 40 version also has a slightly more powerful motor.

Pritesh said:
So I'm wondering if it's worth paying 2k more for a 30kwh leaf @45000miles compared to a 24kwh model with similar mileage, perhaps a year older model. Question here is : is there going to be a significant improvement with mileage to quell some of that range anxiety?!
I think the jump is from 21kWh usable to 27kWh usable (when new). You can expect an annual average of 4m/kWh, so the extra 6 kWh is 24 miles. Might not sound like a lot, but in real world use it makes quite a difference. Basically at the point where you'd be stopped to charge or getting nervous in the smaller battery (15%) you'll still have 35-40 miles showing on the bigger one. I test drove a 24 and bought a 30, if that helps :)
 

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Regarding the Zoe, do they all make the sometimes reported whining noise when charging? Our cars are parked below our bedroom window, and I've not consider the Zoe previously because I was concerned I might be able to hear it when charging at night. Our current LEAF and C-Zero are silent.
 
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