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Need a budget EV fast!

  • 13-05-2024 11:10pm
    Registered Users Posts: 20,835 ✭✭✭✭

    Hey! Posting this on behalf of someone else and would appreciate any input!

    The person in question is starting a job about a 30 minute drive from where they live. A car will be essential as public transport is almost 2 hours each. They're starting soon so need to get a car asap.

    -Ideally around 3-4K budget. Max budget of 5-6K (could mayyybe stretch to 7k for something really good that would have a lot of advantages over something cheaper).
    -Really only needs enough range to get to/from work (70km round trip, 60km of which is motorway), but of course the more buffer the better, especially for winter driving etc.
    -Getting a fast charger installed isn't an option where they live, but trickle charging is, even if it'll be a little more expensive. I understand it can take about 18 hours to charge though, so this could be a problem if they use up all their range each shift and needs it charged before the next shift.
    -The new job is getting an EV charger installed in the car park, but no sure what type yet.
    -Reliability, affordability and ease of use (charging primarily) and low maintenance are most important.

    We've seen the likes of this which could be a good deal (only 27K km)

    but Leaf's seem to do a little better in reviews and seem to be a good bit cheaper?

    Any feedback or suggestions would be great!

    Post edited by cormie on



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,002 ✭✭✭con747

    Ask here you might get lucky.

    Something like this, but I have no idea if it's a bargain. Offer five hundred less and see where it goes.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,835 ✭✭✭✭cormie

    Hey thanks a lot for the link to the bargain thread, I've bookmarked that and will keep an eye on it!

    Thanks for the Leaf link too! That does seem like a good deal, but I know nothing about car value at the mo, let alone electric car value and what's good or not!

    Maybe someone else who might know can chime in 😀

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,029 ✭✭✭witnessmenow

    There is no mention on that ad or pictures to show what the battery health is like on that leaf. Leafs start with 12 segments on the dashboard which indicate the total capacity of the battery.

    You'd have to find out what that is and then calculate if it has the range to the 70km in the winter, assuming the car has somewhat significant degretation (it is 11 years old) I think it will be tight, but I'm just guessing. Is there any motorway on the journey?

    Range Won't be an issue if they have access to a charger at work, but it sounds like it isn't there yet? The charger at work will probably be an untethered charger, which basically means there will be a type of a socket and people plug their own cable into to charge it. The leaf of that age uses a type 1 cable compared to most cars using a type 2, but it won't matter since people use their own cable. If work go for a tethered cable , they will need to get an adaptor ,maybe this but you'd need to check

    Trickle charging aka the granny charger, will be fine, it won't take 18 hours on the leaf either. Probably closer to 11, and that's assuming the battery is empty. A rough rule of thumb is an hour of granny charger will give you 2kwh into the battery. If they are charging at work it will probably only take 5

    Make sure the cars that they are looking at either come with the two different types of cables they'll need (the granny charger and the AC charging cable) or budget buying them, you could be looking at €200-300 for both, which is knocking on 10% of the value of the car at that price range!

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    The majority of cars in that price range are Nissan Leafs. Like any other car, you're looking at mileage and condition. There's also the odd Renault Zoe, but there aren't that many. If they decide they're going for a Leaf, maybe get a Leaf Spy compatible OBD dongle and get the app to check battery SoH. There's a list of compatible dongles here.

    There are lots of Leafs on sale from the bottom of the price range up to 7k. I'd discard any that don't show the battery bars in the ad. Leaf owners know what they represent, so if they're hiding it, there's a reason.

    One here that looks like it has 10/12 bars

    And this one has 11/12 and the cold pack.

    Probably lots more, but either car should be well capable of covering the distance with battery to spare. With the choice on offer, you could definitely get one with top spec like the Tekna inside the budget.

    Granny charging will get you a minimum of 2kW per hour, more typically 2.3kW. So charging up from say 20% would be easily done overnight.

    Tekna with 10 bars

    You can see the guessometer says range of 136km. Even if that were 20% out, you're still talking well over the required range.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭sh81722

    The car has been sold pending the NCT. I was also able to bring forward the test by 2 weeks.

    I will have a LEAF 30 kWh for sale in North Kildare but as the NCT is almost out (07/24) I was going to keep her until end of next month when I have the test booked, as selling a car with 25 months of NCT should be easier than with 2 months.

    161 Tekna 10/12 capacity bars, 111000 km, summer range realistic 150 km, 120 in winter when driven at non-motorways. Met red in colour with black leather and it got new suspension lower control arms in preparation for the test. Bushings on them are usually the weak point in Nissan LEAF as far as the NCT is concerned. We have had the car since '22 and were going to keep this forever, but as usual, I found something else that I really like and collecting her replacement this week. Tyres good, does not need anything but a new owner.

    Will advertise for 8k asking when it has passed the test on the 24th June but may be open for realistic offers before that. PM for details. Not advertised anywhere atm.

    Comes with the accessory Nissan rubber mats and the standard fabric ones, boot liner, granny charger and also a type 1/2 charging cable.

    Post edited by sh81722 on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 950 ✭✭✭oinkely

    I've a 132 Tekna with 126k on the clock. 10/12 battery bars, or more accurately 78% battery health according to leafspy. 6.6 kw charger, granny lead and regular lead. New tyres. Passed NCT in January. Tie rods, and some other suspension bits done then. Will do 100km in winter with a light foot and no motorway speeds. But you would want to be charging at that point. Great car, and if you rarely go outside the range it's cheap and very comfortable transport with the heated seats and steering wheel. Happy to discuss pros and cons though, so feel free to get in touch. Have it up for 4.75k but negotiable for a boardsie. It's on adverts and donedeal. 132ww796. Only issue is it's white. And a small hole in the front bumper, taped over for the NCT and it passed no problem. Anyway, no hassle either way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,835 ✭✭✭✭cormie

    Hey thanks a lot for the suggestions folks! Just to state, the 70km round trip includes about 60km of motorway! Expected commute time will be outside of rush hour each way so speed limit possible.

    One idea is to get an older, cheaper leaf that could just about do the 70km trip, at the lower budget end and then upgrade once they've settled into their new job and may qualify for a loan and hope to get close to what was paid for the leaf.

    There is a chance they can charge it at work, but they may need to do this every shift if the range is poor and could mean there'd be no allowance at all to do any detours on the way home if they want to swing by somewhere for whatever reason.

    Here are all the ones that have been suggested to me in threads/pm in ascending price order:
    €3,500 - 2011 Nissan Leaf - Seller is @unkel. Will hopefully get a round trip in without any issue but maybe this will worsen over time?
    €3,500 - 2013 Nissan Leaf - Suggested by @con747. States 200km range 🤔
    €3,750 - 2013 Nissan Leaf - Came across this myself. Ad states will get 140-160km. Says they will only sell to motor trade and sold as is 🤔
    €4,499 - 2014 Nissan Leaf - Suggested by @prawnsambo. Suggests 116km range
    €4,750 - 2013 Nissan Leaf - Seller is @oinkely. Should get 100km round trip. Tekna model.
    €5,500 - 2015 Nissan Leaf - Suggested by @prawnsambo. Suggests 130km range. Cold pack.
    €5,500 - 2014 Nissan Leaf - Suggested by @prawnsambo. Suggests 136km range. Tekna
    €7,000 - 2016 Renault Zoe - Came across this myself. Not much info in ad.
    €7,500 - 2017 Nissan Leaf - Suggested by @ElitesTeam. 30kwh, potentially 160km?
    €8,000 - 2016 Nissan Leaf - Seller is @sh81722. Tekna 10/12 capacity bars. 120km winter non motorway winter range suggested.
    €8,995 - 2017 Renault Zoe (SOLD) - Suggested outside of boards. 41kwh. Was suggested as a good deal, but out of budget.
    AUCTION - 2015 Renault Zoe - Suggested by @ELM327. Looks like the auction has ended, but it doesn't say anything about it having been sold

    Appreciate all the suggestions and help so far everyone, but is there any one in particular from the above list that stands out to be a good deal, or is the quality all relative to the asking prices from a glance?

    There's only one Zoe on this list which is surprising too and all the rest are Leaf's. From the ads I've seen, it doesn't look like there's much demand for these cars at all and a lot of sellers happy to drop the price and a lot of ads reduced in price with no comments or interest from what I can see. I sold a diesel van that wasn't even working properly recently myself and was inundated with messages through different platforms, so perhaps there's a good bit of wiggle room with anyone who is eager to sell.

    One thing they don't like about the Leaf is a lot of them seem to come with leather seats which they'd prefer avoid!
    @oinkely, what does the 6.6kw charger that comes with yours do?

    Thanks again everyone, got a little overwhelmed having posted this thread and in 2 others and trying to compile everything, but appreciate all the suggestions!

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    Good selection there. I think the best thing is to look at the newest, freshest ones, even go up to the top of the budget and don't be afraid to haggle. You could easily get a grand off especially if the car is up on DD for a while.

    Next is a good test drive. What you're looking for is how close the actual mileage covered matches the guessometer. If it says 130km at the start and you drive 30-40km and it's close to 90-100 at the end, you've a good idea the range is accurate. If it's lower, you get a percentage of how much it's out and apply to the total.

    The 6.6kW charger will need to be fitted by an electrician. You can get a grant of €300 from the SEAI, but with a 24kWh battery, it'll be way over what you'd need. Three hours would be nearly the fill of the battery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,067 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    There isn't really any benefit of a 6.6kW on board charger on a Leaf battery that has 20kWh usable left at best. Unless you only have 3 or 4 hours of cheap night rate. And unless you do a lot of public charging where time matters and you are waiting on the car to charge.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,835 ✭✭✭✭cormie

    Thanks a lot for the continued input. They are leaning towards the lower budget option at the moment with a view to just get on the road for as cheap as possible as soon as possible.

    Can the true range be determined without having to do a lengthy test drive and work out the %?

    Getting a charger installed isn't an option for them as they are renting.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    Those couple I linked at 5.5k could probably be got for under 5k.

    There's no real replacement for a good test drive. 30km would probably take about 15 minutes at an average 60kph.

    Alternatively you could get an OBD dongle (I linked a list above) and Leafspy which would be useful anyway. Leafspy will tell you the exact state of health of the battery and also if there are any dodgy cells in it. Knowing the range of a new one (plenty of data on the net for that), it would just be a case of applying the SoH percentage to that to give you a good idea of the reduced range.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,647 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    It looks like it will probably be a leaf then.

    My 2c. I've had 2 leafs!

    Avoid XE models (notable with lack of buttons on steering wheel and the different screen)
    Try get the heated seats and steering wheel (cold pack), this was standard on SVE and optional on SV.
    Whatever you do, make sure you get the refresh car from 132 onwards. This had a much better battery chemistry, distinguished by the eco button on the steering wheel and the presence of B mode on the drive selector.

    I routinely did 100km per charge in my 142 SVE but would not trust the current 2011 beyond 60km without using leafspy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,459 ✭✭✭pah

    Not sure about your maths there 😅 definitely go for a decent test drive however.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,835 ✭✭✭✭cormie

    €3,500 - 2011 Nissan Leaf - Seller is @unkel. Will hopefully get a round trip in without any issue but maybe this will worsen over time?

    So I've been in negotiation on this one and we've agreed a price a good chunk below asking. A granny cable will also be included and he is confident it will do the return commute on one charge. Will have to get tax as it's expired, but I think this is the best option for now. Get something affordable within budget that can do the commute and then upgrade when possible at a later date.

    Thanks again for all the help everyone! :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    No offence to a fellow boardsie, but that one, although cheap goes against @ELM327 's advice. 8 out of 12 bars is going to be super tight if not impossible in the winter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,647 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    I'm sure you got a good deal and I'm sure it's a great car for what it is. However, there's no other way to say this, it's the wrong car. I have a 2011 with one more battery bar than that car has and I wouldnt trust mine to do the commute you mentioned let alone yours. I advised earlier not to get that car for the reason it won't do the commute.

    If you have already bought it, leafspy and an ELM327 (no affiliation!) dongle are a must, as the on screen display has no percentage readout and the guessometer is hilariously inaccurate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,835 ✭✭✭✭cormie

    Thanks again for the advice! If we did a test drive in it fully charged, doing the same commute, and managed to get there and back ok at this time of year, how much range should we be looking to have left after the commute, to be able to do the same commute in winter?

    Say if there's a 95km range in it now and we did the commute and came back and there was 25km left, would that extra 25km of range be enough to do the return commute in the same car come winter I wonder?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    A good rule of thumb is -20% of summer range. So if your summer range is 100km, winter would be 80.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,647 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    I wouldnt get 95km out of my leaf with 1 more bar. Even if I wasnt on the motorway. I'd say I (remember I have 9/12 bars remaining and that car has 8/12) would get a max, absolute max, of 80km in the summer. In the winter, as the car has no heat pump, you're talking 55km max. Less on a motorway. The lack of heat pump kills the winter range. My leaf has approx 14.9kwh when full, of which I can access about 14.3 until it shuts off. Summer efficiency is around 16-17kwh/100km.

    The winter range, other than the less efficient winter range anyway, is further hampered by the lack of heat pump. If I watch the heating running in winter it draws 6-7kW for the majority of the trip. Doing that for 1 hour uses approx 40 percent of the entire battery, before I even drive a kilometer!

    No aspersions to Unkel, he's a long term poster here and I know it's a grand car etc but the issue is the use case you're buying it for as opposed to the car itself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,067 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Personally I would get a loan and buy a €10k Ioniq. But if that is difficult and your budget is under €3k and that needs to include tax for the year, your options are fairly limited. As in none, bar an older Leaf. I would be happy to use one for this 64km commute, even in winter, but you need to drive gently and not go anywhere near motorway speed limits.

    I drove this particular car home from Wexford on a brutal winter's day (storm) over the motorway, 110km. With one stop. Got there with 20% left, charged up to 80% and got home again with about 20% left. So it is most certainly able to do a 64km commute in winter

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,647 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    If that is the criteria I understand, but (and I did 60k km per year in a leaf 24 before so i know the reality of it!) it involves literally pulling in on empty every night and having to manage range every winter (and probably spring and autumn) too. So much stress. I wouldnt do it now, I only did it when I literally couldnt afford to run a diesel auction car on green diesel anymore!

    100 million percent agree on the Ioniq being a better option in every way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 65,067 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    In an ideal world they'd buy an Ioniq and charge every other day or a Kona and charge once a week 😀

    But if those simply aren't financially viable options, the savings with an older Leaf are tremendous. I don't agree it will be a stressful commute, but you do need to get into the habit of driving gently. I don't think you'd be very good at that 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    +1 on the Ioniq 28. But the cheapest ones on DD would probably be got for ~11k. The current cheapest ones there have been cut from ~15k to ~13k, so you'd probably have to wait a bit to get them for less.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,761 ✭✭✭✭JPA

    There is no way ye should buy an older leaf when 60km of the journey are at motorway speed.

    You're looking at 21kWh+ per 100km, the usable battery is going to be 18 kWh going well. Maximum range is going to be maxed out every time. Too much stress!

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,647 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    18kwh? Mine with 1 more bar than the one the OP is buying has 14.9kWh approx at full.

    The 12 bars are not linear. When you lost the first bar it represents I think 15% degradation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,761 ✭✭✭✭JPA

    Ya, I was being very generous. Your more realistic figure would make the journey almost impossible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 249 ✭✭ElitesTeam

    Id say you definitely want a 30kw leaf if your doing 60km motorway especially for the winter months!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,234 ✭✭✭Orebro

    Just to chime in here as a 2014 Leaf owner that I've had for 8 years - the 2011 Leaf is the wrong car for this situation, even if it makes the journey now it's not going to do it in the depths of winter and will cause huge stress. I'd sooner get a small cheap petrol car before exposing myself to this.

    Obviously no offense meant to unkel here.

    Edit: 3.5k is way too much for this car. Speaking of unkel you should use his own tactics against him; offer him a grand and settle on €1500 which is about what it’s worth.

    Post edited by Orebro on

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    Not necessarily. I know they say you should have a range equivalent of twice your daily commute, but the OP has the possibility of work charging too. As @ELM327 says, the late 2013 onwards models had better battery chemistry and you can see that in the GoM ranges displayed in any of those for sale on DD.

    Minimum requirement would be the cold pack which will allow you to warm up the car before unplugging and that can reduce the power usage on the road.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,625 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Late 2013 best, 30kWh battery better. With a 24kWh battery you may have to slow on motorway to 100km/h or even 80km/h in winter especially if very cold weather and a head wind. You can charge up over night at home on any household outlet.

    Real main issue besides commute would be an extra trips in the evening to shops or friends may become unrealistic due to short range. Make sure you buy well as depreciation will be a big expense. It may be hard to really car in 6 or 12 months.