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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I've been researching Leafs as a possible replacement for my 15 year old hatch that we have been using as a second car for the last ten years. I confess that while I am very interested in EVs the main motivator is financial - particularly now that I will need to insure my 18 year old son on it this year. Insuring him while he is on L plates is not too bad but I suspect that once he has passed his test it will be prohibitive. £565 road tax 20mpg and a young driver makes the numbers easy - I think it will save over £2k/year even without considering insurance and maintenance.
I also suspect that my wife will end up using it too which will significantly reduce usage of her SUV.

Leaf 24s are getting very affordable now and I am planning to run it by just plugging in to our garage sockets every night. Am I being incredibly naive about this or should I consider a dedicated charger?

Thank you in advance for any advice
Simon
 

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If charging regularly, please, please get a dedicated wall-mounted EVSE, and do not rely on using standard 13A sockets. Lots of discussion & opinion about this issue in threads in here. I've personnally overheated a couple of 13 sockets by running them at 10A for several hours. If you must do this, I strongly recommend you get a granny charger than can be switched down to 6A (the minimum EVs will charge at) and stick to that, and check the plug & socket after 1/2 an hour to be sure it's not overheating. 6A should get you around 5 mph range, so with a small battery EV only doing short local trips, this may suit your needs. Am not familiar with Leafs, but someone here will advise if the car can set 6A itself.

Granny EVSEs use relays as the contactors. And these wear out over time. I've recently had my 5-year old one, used regularly, high quality expensive item, blow it's circuitboard internally. The damage that's done to my EV's charging circuitry has cost me a £1200 dealer bill last week. I'd replaced the relays inside after 4 years use as they were wearing out and beginning to overheat the internals, but this fault was I think ageing of the 13A mains connector pins solder-joints, so a joint appears to have overheated very suddenly, perhaps solder melted & flowed & shorted stuff out, maybe the PCB got charred & became conductive, hard to tell. These things are subject to a lot of thermal cycling (bad for electronics) as there's no ventilation and the internal space is very cramped, so not a huge area to dissipate heat through. Granny EVSEs are fine for occasional use, but imho should not be being used on a daily basis. Wall-mounted EVSEs are much more robust, have large industrial-type contactors (usually), and plenty of space for air to circulate internally & keep the electronics cool.
 

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2018 Leaf 40kwh Tekna
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This is a tricky one as we live in a house where we could spend £600 installing a charge point but we dont own the house. We have managed to get a dedicated circuit installed and have, since July last year been using the EVSE as our main source of home home charging. I do expect to have to buy a new 3pin charger at some point though. We only have to use it once a week at the moment and for a maximum of 4-5hrs in total.
 

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Leaf 24s are going to have reduced range now - mine is an older example but realistically only does 45 miles in summer and 35 miles in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm thinking of 2015/16 with a mileage of no more than 30k and with all bars remaining. Daily mileage will rarely exceed 50 miles and will mostly be school runs and shopping trips.
 

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Hi,
I've been researching Leafs as a possible replacement for my 15 year old hatch that we have been using as a second car for the last ten years. I confess that while I am very interested in EVs the main motivator is financial - particularly now that I will need to insure my 18 year old son on it this year. Insuring him while he is on L plates is not too bad but I suspect that once he has passed his test it will be prohibitive. £565 road tax 20mpg and a young driver makes the numbers easy - I think it will save over £2k/year even without considering insurance and maintenance.
I also suspect that my wife will end up using it too which will significantly reduce usage of her SUV.

Leaf 24s are getting very affordable now and I am planning to run it by just plugging in to our garage sockets every night. Am I being incredibly naive about this or should I consider a dedicated charger?

Thank you in advance for any advice
Simon
A dedicated charge point would definitely be better, but that isn’t to say you can’t use your garage sockets. We haven’t been able to get a charge point installed, and have used the granny charger daily since we first got a Leaf in Nov 2014. It has been fine. I would suggest though that you get your wiring etc. checked well to make sure it is up to 2kW continuous load.
 

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2011 Leaf with Muxsan 17.6kWh battery, curt tow hitch fitted for bikes or buzz rack P10
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We have two gen1 24 leafs, one muxsan extended 2011 and the other a 2013 with 11 bars. Our 2011 is currently in the garage with a broken precharge resistor but once it is fixed we will be looking to go down to one car having two the same at the moment doesnt make sense. I realise its not a second gen but it has low mileage sub 30k and very few rapid charges ever done it being ex council owned before us. Anyway in a few weeks time it will be put up for sale again near Manchester. It has been a super reliable leaf and ive put the plastic printed things over the suspension strut top mounts under the bonnet, plus printed a better bonnet release catch (stronger). Let me know if you are interested. Also i agree with getting a dedicated evse. we have a podpoint which are good as they dont require a dedicated earth rod due to built in protections in their design.
 

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I'm thinking of 2015/16 with a mileage of no more than 30k and with all bars remaining. Daily mileage will rarely exceed 50 miles and will mostly be school runs and shopping trips.
You'll probably be ok, then - But if the budget can be pushed, go for a 30, it'll give you peace of mind - Bear in mind that the reported range on the dashboard has little connection to reality, it is just based on the last drive. If the last trip was all downhill and trundled into the parking space under its own speed it'll show far higher range than if you were driving it normally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I won't be doing anything until April/May and am down in Kent but thanks anyway. As for the 30, I'll see what prices are like at the time but I suspect that it would take a greater range than the 30 has to make much difference to how we can use the car. The range of the 24 is plenty for our day to day trips. Longer journeys for the kids' sports events tend to be over 100 miles. Family trips to Ireland involve time pressured 300+ mile journeys to catch a ferry often followed by another 200 miles at the other end.
These journey's are not that frequent but I suspect it will be a good while before a reasonably priced EV will be able to manage it. I just like the idea that a Leaf would mean that more than 90% of our journeys would be by EV.
I see that even main dealers prices for lowish mileage 24 Teknas have dropped below £9k and that there is a £3-4k premium for a 30.
 

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We have recently bought a 2015 LEAF 24 Tekna. We didn't go for a 30 as the price premium didn't seam worth it (especially as the Muxan battery extender looks a more interesting option) and also the batteries doesn't appear to be holding up as well as the UK built 24s. I did however get one with the 6kW charger, which we had on our previous LEAF. I've found it useful for topping up after I get back from work, a couple of hours on the charger will add 50% charge.
 

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GOLF GTE PHEV
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I'm thinking of 2015/16 with a mileage of no more than 30k and with all bars remaining. Daily mileage will rarely exceed 50 miles and will mostly be school runs and shopping trips.
I've had no overheating issues using my granny charger on my Leaf E+ so for 50miles/day, it will do the job.
I recommend monitoring the 13a plug/socket whilst doing a long recharge for a day or two to confirm there is no overheating issues. (Probably due to loose terminals and/or worn contacts.) You could fit a brand new socket if you wished, if the existing one is old/well used.
Also, I fitted a smoke detector above my socket in the event it, for some reason grossly overheated.
 

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Id be looking at maybe changing energy supplier to Octopus, taking up their offer of an Ohme Cable for £200 and then getting a qualified electrician to install a commando socket to plug said Ohme into and then use that as a cheap charger and make the most of cheap charging overnight.

if you can then making use of free local charging will help bring down costs more if within easy reach of your house and while they are still free as well...

Ideally look for a well treated one. rough ones generally mean the battery and drivetrain has suffered as well and that wont be good for you long term.

Try and get a Tekna if you can or one with a winter pack so the front seats and steering wheel are heated. this helps a lot in winter to pre warm the car and drive up efficiency.

Bear in mind the biggest thing is that youll only really get 70miles from a leaf24 in the real world and more so for local only trips but that could easily be enough if your topping it up 50% a night on the cheap electric from Octopus Go/Go Faster maybe
 

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My 13 Reg Sunderland built Leaf with 53k miles on the clock (and having lost one battery bar) will do 50 miles on a full charge in this weather. If this is sufficient range for your son's (and your wife's) usage, go for it. One thing to look out for is rapid wear on the rear tyres (I get about 18,500 miles per set) due to Nissan getting the tolerances wrong for the rear beam, with the result that there is an unadjustable tracking error on the rear wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's interesting. 50 miles is probably more than we will do in a day but this is a second car for local journeys - our main car has a 500 - 700 mile range. 18,500 miles is more than I have ever got out of my cars' rear tyres.
I think a good Leaf will make sense for us but am concerned that I might be getting into a 24 just before values plummet. I am very fond of my current car but it probably costs more to run in a year than it is worth. Having said that I do all of the servicing and maintenance myself so while fuel and road tax are pricey, other running costs are relatively cheap. I'm really not sure what a Nissan dealer does for a £200 annual service on a Leaf?!
 

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There are a few good cheap leaf teknas around but it's a tough call to make.
I don't think values will drop like a rock overnight but more gradually over a few years.
A 30kwh leaf if cheap enough can be very good value due to its battery warranty but with your range a degraded leaf 24kwh could suffice for a good while yet.
 

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You can get a 30kwh Leaf Tekna 16 plate with low miles from a main Nissan dealer for 10k now.

I am picking ours up tommorow that is what I paid with a decent trade in value as well.

The 17 plate 30kwh attract a premium of 2 - 3k over the 16 plates currently even with the same mileage that didn't make sense to me. 20 - 30% price bump for a car that could be less than a year newer with the same miles etc.

If you are willing to risk buying privately you can get a low miles 17 plate Tekna for 10k. I wouldnt risk it personally with the battery to worry about but if you don't have a trade in and going to check out the battery properly with leaf spy it gives more choice at lower prices.

I have been looking for a while, nationwide there are only 6 cars that met my criteria currently not a great selection really. Good cars priced well seem to sell quickly.
 
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