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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 12:45 PM)
Also, a lot of companies have added electric charging stations in the office parking lots so you may in fact be able to charge the car for free at work.

Yeah, we have a bank of them at our building.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 12:47 PM)
Major flaw in the Leaf is it lacks all of the flexibility of a Volt (e.g., the fact that you can actually go more then 30 miles....albeit using gas...but that is a pretty huge safety net).

I dunno if that is a flaw as much as a limitation, but your point still stands.

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QUOTE (iamshack @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:45 PM)
Do you own stock in Nissan? :)

Possibly, but only through mutual funds in my 401K. I did pick the "green fund" option and I wonder if Nissan might qualify on that.

 

Seriously, I drove the car early on and liked it quite a bit. One of the features I absolutely loved was the ability to program the heater/AC, you can program it to turn the heater on while it's still on house power so that the car is warm when you get into it but you haven't drained the battery at all. Makes heating/cooling the car a ton more efficient than any other heating/AC system out there. I don't know whether the Volt can do that or not but I absolutely loved that idea.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:47 PM)
Major flaw in the Leaf is it lacks all of the flexibility of a Volt (e.g., the fact that you can actually go more then 30 miles....albeit using gas...but that is a pretty huge safety net).

That's why I said "If you own another car". He said this would be for his wife I believe. A leaf makes a ton of sense to me as a second car. I wouldn't buy it as my only car, but if your commute is 20 miles, you've still got a 50 mile+ extra buffer in those batteries.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 12:48 PM)
Possibly, but only through mutual funds in my 401K. I did pick the "green fund" option and I wonder if Nissan might qualify on that.

 

Seriously, I drove the car early on and liked it quite a bit. One of the features I absolutely loved was the ability to program the heater/AC, you can program it to turn the heater on while it's still on house power so that the car is warm when you get into it but you haven't drained the battery at all. Makes heating/cooling the car a ton more efficient than any other heating/AC system out there. I don't know whether the Volt can do that or not but I absolutely loved that idea.

There are a few states, I think Georgia, surprisingly, that offer a $5k state incentive that can be applied towards a lease of the vehicle. I think there was an article a week or two ago showing you could lease a Leaf using the state and federal incentives for nothing more than the cost to charge the vehicle.

 

Not sure if that was truly accurate or not though.

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 02:38 PM)
Keep this in mind too... we looked at the Volt, briefly, and rejected it because the rear seat room is severely lacking. You have a kid and might have another, right? We had one with another on the way when we last bought, and had to reject the Volt out of hand because it had even less "leg" room than the vehicle we were already in that was too small.

 

It is probably a very good commuter car choice, and oddly, would probably work fine for kids old enough to be fully in forward-facing seats or just boosters (or no kid seats at all). But for smaller kids still in bulky buckets that protrude a lot or are backwards-facing, it just doesn't work.

 

Yeah this will be the big limitation - size. We only have the one now, so it would have to fit him (13 months old) in the back. If not, there's no way.

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QUOTE (Jenksismyb**** @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 12:56 PM)
Yeah this will be the big limitation - size. We only have the one now, so it would have to fit him (13 months old) in the back. If not, there's no way.

Kind of crazy that they didnt' think about this when building the vehicle. You'd think it would be common place to have the back-seats of this type of car being able to handle all types of child safety seats. It isn't like we are talking about a smart car or a coupe, which you could at least understand the notion that those type of cars aren't marketed for typical family types.

 

Edit: Now that I think about it, I have a friend who has a Volt and he loves it (charges for free at work and gets carpool lane access for free). I swear he fits his newborn in the back no problem though. At least I presume he does. I guess I never look to see which car he drives when he comes over to our place with his younggun (who is

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 02:43 PM)
I almost don't want to tell you this, but GM is looking for a fully redone Volt in the 2015 model year at some point. It might well bring the price down substantially again as well as outperform this version by quite a bit.

 

Right now the Volt is built on another car's platform, which means the battery weight is not well distributed, it's stuck in where space could be found. The next version is supposed to be a fully independent platform for the Volt designed around its specific needs.

 

If your wife's commute is 20-25 a day, and you have another vehicle that you'd use for long distances, have you thought about a Nissan Leaf? It's a bit smaller but a really nice car, it's cheaper than the Volt, they're flying off shelves and many of the tax credits still work.

 

Yeah I dunno if we can wait much longer. Our work schedules are starting to become more demanding which means our one car commuting is becoming more difficult to manage.

 

I thought the Leaf would be too small and the lack of a gas engine back up kind of scares me.

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QUOTE (Jenksismyb**** @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:59 PM)
Yeah I dunno if we can wait much longer. Our work schedules are starting to become more demanding which means our one car commuting is becoming more difficult to manage.

 

I thought the Leaf would be too small and the lack of a gas engine back up kind of scares me.

Do you have another car already with a gas engine? If you do then I think you should seriously consider the leaf.

 

Take the time and figure out...how often do you actually drive more than 75 miles in a day? And keep in mind you're burning very little power if you're stuck in traffic, it's only the distance.

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QUOTE (Jenksismyb**** @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 02:56 PM)
Yeah this will be the big limitation - size. We only have the one now, so it would have to fit him (13 months old) in the back. If not, there's no way.

We found there was, for functional purposes, less room for a baby seat (as measured from back of back seat to back of front seat when in typical position) in the Volt than there was in the Escape, which was already too tight.

 

By the way, that is the measurement you want to take for baby seats. Not the official "leg room" number. Take a tape measure to the dealer, sit in the front, adjust the seats to where you will typically have them to drive, then measure that gap from back of back seat to back of front seat. Compare it to the car you have.

 

 

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:58 PM)
Kind of crazy that they didnt' think about this when building the vehicle. You'd think it would be common place to have the back-seats of this type of car being able to handle all types of child safety seats. It isn't like we are talking about a smart car or a coupe, which you could at least understand the notion that those type of cars aren't marketed for typical family types.

 

Edit: Now that I think about it, I have a friend who has a Volt and he loves it (charges for free at work and gets carpool lane access for free). I swear he fits his newborn in the back no problem though. At least I presume he does. I guess I never look to see which car he drives when he comes over to our place with his younggun (who is

Like I said, with the Volt, they were building this version as a test-bed. They used the structure of another car already being produced by Chevy, they didn't redesign it. That means they needed to steal a lot of room for the batteries and the electric engine, leading to less space in the car. The 2015 redesign should help cover that problem.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:00 PM)
Do you have another car already with a gas engine? If you do then I think you should seriously consider the leaf.

 

Take the time and figure out...how often do you actually drive more than 75 miles in a day? And keep in mind you're burning very little power if you're stuck in traffic, it's only the distance.

 

We do. That's why I'm not opposed to electric. It's not going to be our summer road trip vehicle.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 02:58 PM)
Kind of crazy that they didnt' think about this when building the vehicle. You'd think it would be common place to have the back-seats of this type of car being able to handle all types of child safety seats. It isn't like we are talking about a smart car or a coupe, which you could at least understand the notion that those type of cars aren't marketed for typical family types.

 

Edit: Now that I think about it, I have a friend who has a Volt and he loves it (charges for free at work and gets carpool lane access for free). I swear he fits his newborn in the back no problem though. At least I presume he does. I guess I never look to see which car he drives when he comes over to our place with his younggun (who is

Your friend may use the trick we did - put the single back-facing baby seat in the middle of the back bench, so it can protrude between the front seats a bit. But that won't work with a second kid.

 

Also, I'm 6'3", and my wife is 5'9", so we're on the taller side. And therefore have the front seats further back. Shorter people may have less of an issue than we do.

 

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 01:01 PM)
Like I said, with the Volt, they were building this version as a test-bed. They used the structure of another car already being produced by Chevy, they didn't redesign it. That means they needed to steal a lot of room for the batteries and the electric engine, leading to less space in the car. The 2015 redesign should help cover that problem.

I think by the time I'm in the market for another car, dare I say it, I might actually be looking at something like this as a 2nd car. Of course by that point I'm sure all the good incentives will be gone and then the cost/benefit won't be as good. Chevy has a good thing going with the Volt and if they can make the car roomier and also figure out a way to get solid gas mileage with the gas engine, that would be one great vehicle.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 04:04 PM)
I think by the time I'm in the market for another car, dare I say it, I might actually be looking at something like this as a 2nd car. Of course by that point I'm sure all the good incentives will be gone and then the cost/benefit won't be as good. Chevy has a good thing going with the Volt and if they can make the car roomier and also figure out a way to get solid gas mileage with the gas engine, that would be one great vehicle.

I think that's exactly what will happen in the 2015 version, and if I can ever find a permanent job that's going to be on my list.

 

Good comparison is the first generation Prius to the 2nd generation Prius. The first generation was a bit ugly and clunky and you lost trunk space for the batteries, and Toyota didn't turn a profit on the first generation one. The 2nd generation was a much better car and they've made a fortune on it.

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QUOTE (Chisoxfn @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:04 PM)
I think by the time I'm in the market for another car, dare I say it, I might actually be looking at something like this as a 2nd car. Of course by that point I'm sure all the good incentives will be gone and then the cost/benefit won't be as good. Chevy has a good thing going with the Volt and if they can make the car roomier and also figure out a way to get solid gas mileage with the gas engine, that would be one great vehicle.

 

The problem is sales never really took off, even with the government offering $7,500 bucks. Unless they can get the price point down to 30-35, there's no way even a re-designed one will sell.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:01 PM)
Like I said, with the Volt, they were building this version as a test-bed. They used the structure of another car already being produced by Chevy, they didn't redesign it. That means they needed to steal a lot of room for the batteries and the electric engine, leading to less space in the car. The 2015 redesign should help cover that problem.

Correct. It was a mad-scientist type project. My cousin did a similar one with the first version of the Neon back in the day. They put the batteries in strange places which led to failure and even combustion early on. I heard the newer version are supposed to be from ground up.

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QUOTE (bigruss22 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 03:17 PM)
I'm hoping that Tesla can come together with a truly great electric-for everyone car.

They are f***ing fast. A few of them around here these days, amazing cars.

 

The one I saw for sale was 75k

Edited by RockRaines

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QUOTE (bigruss22 @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 04:17 PM)
I'm hoping that Tesla can come together with a truly great electric-for everyone car.

There's never going to be a single "Great for everyone" car. That's why there are lots of types of cars. Right now the Leaf is a great electric car for people who use small cars. The Volt is a solid car for people who want the hybrid electric + gasoline car. It's a solid car but it does have some disadvantages, but that's the case for lots of cars.

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I just saw a blog on cars.com about seats in the Leaf and they have our convertible seat and they claim there is plenty of room. It looks like there is very little room to actually put the kid in the car though.

 

 

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I wonder too on these Leafs - how does it handle the winter in Chicago? You're driving, the wipers are on, the heats on full blast, the defrost is on, etc. That's a lot of electricity being used up I would think. Another reason why the back-up gas engine is a good safety net.

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QUOTE (Jenksismyb**** @ Aug 8, 2013 -> 04:25 PM)
I wonder too on these Leafs - how does it handle the winter in Chicago? You're driving, the wipers are on, the heats on full blast, the defrost is on, etc. That's a lot of electricity being used up I would think. Another reason why the back-up gas engine is a good safety net.

The real trick with the Leaf is to take advantage of the programability. I thought it would actually be a great vehicle for Chicago because I can picture myself starting the car early and blasting through gas in order to run the defroster prior to driving. With the Leaf you can do that when the car isn't running, you can run the heat and the defroster off of the house power rather than draining the battery, and you can tell the car to heat up from an app on a cell phone as well. If you spread out the heating you can make the car a lot more comfortable while saving the battery power.

 

That said, yes the battery output does decrease in the cold. If I had to drive 45 miles a day I wouldn't think of it as an option, but 20 leaves a very large buffer. I'd say the best thing you can do is ask the dealer and check a few review sites. The leaves are selling a ton right not, I think they moved like 8000 last month. People should be knowing what it can do by now.

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