acensor
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:44 am

aarond12 wrote:If you're concerned about upgraded technology in your EV, lease it. If technology hasn't improved when your lease is up, just buy the car. If technology HAS improved, give 'em back the keys and lease the next EV....


Yeah, thought of that. I'll re-check, but IIRR the buyout price at end of lease was VERY high.... and there was some sort of catch/penalty based on "current market conditions" that looked like the lease company is protecting ITself against the depreciation I fear (due to new technology and battery aging) at the leaser's expense.

aarond12 wrote:In reference to pre-heating the car... my base ES can pre-heat, even though I have to use the special remote fob to do so...


Hmmm. That pre-heat/cool ability is one of the abilities I want, but _thought_ I had to go to the SE or buy some big upgrade package to get. So the remote fob comes with the base ES? Or can be reasonably purchased when or after buying the base ES? Is it just a "turn on heat [or AC] now" clicker? Or can it set to "turn on heat at 7:15 am?"

My local dealer has a dealer demo ES that he has to hold onto for a few more months that he has made a handshake agreement with me to sell me. He knocks of the $7500 tax credit he has already taken(which is great because them I don't have to worry about the "up to" catch on the tax credit), more for it being used (and if I'm lucky on the timing, more for by then it being "last year's model). One of my few hesitions about committing to that one was the pre-heat/cool feature.

Alex
Alex
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danpatgal
Posts: 202
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Location: Ephrata, PA

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:42 am

acensor wrote:
aarond12 wrote:In reference to pre-heating the car... my base ES can pre-heat, even though I have to use the special remote fob to do so...
Hmmm. That pre-heat/cool ability is one of the abilities I want, but _thought_ I had to go to the SE or buy some big upgrade package to get. So the remote fob comes with the base ES? Or can be reasonably purchased when or after buying the base ES? Is it just a "turn on heat [or AC] now" clicker? Or can it set to "turn on heat at 7:15 am?"
Yes, all cars come with the remote fob that can be used to control a pre-heat. I also believe it can be set to go on after a certain amount of time - like start in 9 hours from now, not a specific clock time (there's no clock on the fob). I have an ES model and we use the preheat option a bit - it really helps range and comfort in colder weather.

acensor
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:23 pm

[quote="danpatgal]I have an ES model and we use the preheat option a bit - it really helps range and comfort in colder weather.[/quote]

Don't mean to beat this horse to death ;) but, since you have real world experience:
How far ahead of jumping into the car do you have to turn on the heat to get it nice and toasty inside? 5 minutes? 20?
Yeah I know that depends on how cold it is in the garage but FYI my garage would rarely get below 35 degrees Farenhiet. Rarely above 90 in the summer.

Just curious -- not a pivotal buying factor.

Alex
Alex
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sandange
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Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:49 am

danpatgal wrote:How far ahead of jumping into the car do you have to turn on the heat to get it nice and toasty inside? 5 minutes? 20?



15 minutes does it for us, Double that if it's cold and parked outside
Tesla Model 3 SR+, 2019
Previous EVs
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
200,000 km , 124.000 miles.
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
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MLucas
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Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:04 am

sandange wrote:
danpatgal wrote:How far ahead of jumping into the car do you have to turn on the heat to get it nice and toasty inside? 5 minutes? 20?



15 minutes does it for us, Double that if it's cold and parked outside



30 is the most you can do. L1 does not do as well as L2.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

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nsps
Posts: 97
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:38 am

acensor wrote:
aarond12 wrote:If you're concerned about upgraded technology in your EV, lease it. If technology hasn't improved when your lease is up, just buy the car. If technology HAS improved, give 'em back the keys and lease the next EV....


Yeah, thought of that. I'll re-check, but IIRR the buyout price at end of lease was VERY high.... and there was some sort of catch/penalty based on "current market conditions" that looked like the lease company is protecting ITself against the depreciation I fear (due to new technology and battery aging) at the leaser's expense.


I read over my lease agreement pretty carefully and didn't see anything suggesting that they'd charge me whatever they wanted at the end of the lease. I don't think too many people would sign that. That said, the residual isn't great (although it's reasonable given the total I'm paying), but I'm paying so little that I'm happy to see where the market is at in two years.

As far as missing features go, a heated passenger seat would be the only addition I'd REALLY want, and the 2013 model does come with that. I can see where a Car Wings-style feature would be handy if I were coming back from a trip and wanted to get my car ready and warm before I got to the airport parking lot, but most days I don't really need it.

Vike
Posts: 402
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:24 pm

acensor, a few thoughts:

- Canada has a 2013 model. I believe CHAdeMO has always been standard in Canada, and as noted elsewhere the 2013 includes a higher capacity level 1 EVSE that can charge the i-MiEV in about 12-14 hours instead of the 22 hours the current bundled EVSE takes. Problem is I don't know if/when that will come to the U.S., or if that shorter Level 1 charging time would mean you could skip a Level 2 in your garage. Without a price drop (as opposed to the price hike they saw in Canada), I don't see too many i-MiEVs getting sold in 2013.

- speaking of which, negotiate aggressively on the i-MiEV. Mitsu might not have lowered the list price, but that's just too bad for the dealer stuck with one in inventory. The Leaf S is slightly cheaper than the iES, and that's a strong bit of leverage (especially if the Leaf S is actually on dealer lots, as opposed to a headline-grabber with a phony c'mon price that you can't get - I don't know either way yet).

- to repeat what's been said already, I have an ES, and as with all i-MiEVs, it has remote cabin pre-heating/cooling and a heated driver's seat (I guess winter travel with friends requires that they be EV enthusiasts with warm coats or offer to drive their own cars). The remote (limited-range direct RF, no smartphone app needed or available, standard on all models) also handles timed charging for off-peak rates or less than full charging.

- if you have any interest in Level 3 charging (i.e., CHAdeMO DC Quick-charge, there are a few in the greater Dallas area), I'd point out that CHAdeMO is not offered on the Leaf S - you'd have to upgrade to the SV and then tack on over $1600 more for the LED headlight/CHAdeMO package, or just go full-bore for the SL. On the i-MiEV, this is just a $700 package on the base ES, which also throws in an auxiliary battery heater. Depending on where you live relative to your local Level 3 stations, this may make the difference between taking your EV for some trips or not.

- don't overlook the Leaf's thermal management problems. Dallas gets hot, and the combination of the Leaf's battery chemistry and lack of active cooling has caused significant headaches for owners in the southwest, most famously in Arizona. The i-MiEV battery pack lacks the hefty (and costly) liquid cooling systems of those in the Focus or Volt, but does have a fan bringing in air from the passenger compartment, which seems to have been an effective compromise.

- I agree that leasing is rational given the state of the technology, but I still didn't do it. In my case, I don't really need more than 40 miles range or so, so figured the battery pack should last me a normal vehicle "lifespan", and I'm not convinced that the EV options will be as attractive/affordable at the end of a lease as just buying the i-MiEV outright today. While leasing shields you from the risk of being stuck with a car you don't want, it exposes you to the risk of losing a car you like without a desirable replacement. For me it made sense to buy, but you'll need to weigh the risks for yourself.
2012 Silver ES w/QuickCharge+DRL/foglights, Eaton Level 2 EVSE, since 9/9/2012

aarond12
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:21 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:33 pm

acensor wrote:How far ahead of jumping into the car do you have to turn on the heat to get it nice and toasty inside?

In the morning, I wake up, take my shower, dry off, then set my fob to "heat". By the time I'm done brushing my hair and teeth, dressing myself, and eating breakfast, it's time to go and the car is warm. Elapsed time: Approximately 30 minutes.

Note: I do not own a L2 charger. I only use the L1 charger that comes with the car. That being said, "warm" is a relative statement. It's warmer than the interior used to be, but is probably only 70-75°F. This is fine in Dallas, but might be an issue in colder climates. I've heard the L2 chargers make the car VERY warm on the pre-heat setting.

On a semi-related note, I used the A/C the other day. (Had the baby in the car, so I couldn't put the windows down to cool down the interior.) That A/C works VERY well. I'm excited to try it on one of our 100°F+ days this summer.

My buy-out price for my i-MiEV at the end of my lease is around $23K. Not a good deal, but I really don't intend on buying it out, unless something major happens and I need to keep the car.
2015 Nissan LEAF S

acensor
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:38 pm

Hey folks,
(a) You've all been a wealth of relevant information and suggestions.
(b) I'm pretty convinced that if I were to buy an EV now the MiEV would be my first choice with the low end Leaf a close second -- albiet they are significantly different styles of cars -- if the prices in reality are close.

But, to my surprise, my wife, who was the main driving force between the "let's get something new and green NOW" came recently to the same conclusion that I had stood on before I decided to support her, do the research and got enthused about it. And particularly the MiEV. And our patterns of use and the fact that we'd keep on conventional auto, and our preference for being environmentally and socially responsible make us ideal EV buyers.

Thing is we drive between us about 10,000 miles per year. Not a lot of fuel compared to many households.
Our cars are in great shape. A 2001 forester that gets 20mpg in town and 25+ on the road, and a 2004 Toyota Corolla that gets 26+ MPG in town and 35+ on the road. Both under 85 thousand miles (barely teenagers for those car's expected life) . I meticulously maintain both, and both have projected good reliability.
If either of them seem long of tooth, unreliable, unsafe, or we didn't LIKE them, I get an EV (probably the MiEV) in a heartbeat.
But these two cars are now depreciating (both in book value and drivability) very slowly now.
So when I do the numbers seriously computing fuel costs and maintainance and conservative deprecation expected for the next 10 years (because I'd hope to keep an EV for 10years) for keeping both our cars vs. replacing the Toyota with an MiEV, it comes down in raw numbers that gas would have to average $6per gallon to have it _just _ break even in ten years. Could that happen? Sure.
Add to that the already discussed her possibility that incremental improvements in newer EV's (let alone possible battery technology breakthroughs) COULD make a 2012 EV look about as good as an 8 track tape player 5 years from today, and the penciled calculations could look even less favorable for us buying an EV today.

If we drove 30,000 or 50,000 miles a year, or as I say, if we didn't have good cars we rather like, the answer would be different.

It's tough to do an enviromental analyis (there ARE times I'm willing to pay more to put my money where my tree-hugger's mouth is --- we have 30 solar panels for home power even though if electric costs don't rise we are paying more per kilowatt-hour than if we purchased less-clean power from the grid).
I tried to to that. But as best I can do it it is not at all clear that us buying an EV would significantly reduce our enviromental footprint. It might.
Or might not. What is the carbon and environmental cost of building and delivering an MiEV to me?

ANYWAY,Without doing the analytic numbers that I did, she recently came to the conclusion that it doesn't really make compelling sense for us to jump on the EV train right now. Perhaps we'll be sorry we waited if there's a gas crisis and lines at the pump or gas soars to $7 three years from now.
Or maybe we'll be glad we waited when 5 years from now the MiEV or whatever's available is only slightly higher cost and has twice the range and all the bugs worked out and chargers are all over the place.

I'm a little dissappointed as owning and driving an MiEV would be fun, but in OUR situation a bit too much of a frivolity for now.

Thanks for all the help and support.
I may drop by again just to lurk and see how you folks are doing.
Or, who knows, if someone sideswipes as and totals one of our cars, I'll be back.

Regards,
Alex
P.S., Re the idea of leasing:The high buyout price at the end of the lease is rather an inibitor of that otherwise prudent option.
Alex
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danpatgal
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:21 am
Location: Ephrata, PA

Re: Is there a 2013 MiEV and is it going to be discontinued?

Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:13 am

@acensor: great analysis and expression of where you are. If only more people thought about their impacts, how/what they drive, and the long term financial as well as environmental impacts, we'd all be a lot better off. As much as we love our iMiev, we probably did incur a greater environmental impact (and spent a bit more) by having purchased it as compared to having just kept my current car and bicycled more (as I have done a lot - but less so now with the EV).

Some of my rationalization to do it now was how it might affect others. As rare and expensive as an EV might be, it's a better transition for most people used to driving a gasoline car than cycling, for example. So, my hope is that others see it, think about electric driving, see how it could be cheaper, more efficient, and likely less of an environmental impact over it's lifespan, and increasingly so over time as our electric grid becomes cleaner. And collective purchases will help fund future development and lower costs as larger scale manufacturing kicks in. I think that if despite the "range" issue, if the costs (without rebates or credits) would be on par with a similar gasoline car, many more would buy one.

Of course, it is really nice and fun to drive. That is worth something.

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