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Hi guys

I drive a petrol car, I spend quite a lot of money and I drive a limited amount of miles because I work in London and the traffic is horrible. I was thinking of buying a second hand Prius, but now I am thinking of getting a new Leaf.

I am a builder, I need a VERY reliable car. So, I would very much appreciate your honest opinion.

Thanks in advance
 

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Hi guys

I drive a petrol car, I spend quite a lot of money and I drive a limited amount of miles because I work in London and the traffic is horrible. I was thinking of buying a second hand Prius, but now I am thinking of getting a new Leaf.

I am a builder, I need a VERY reliable car. So, I would very much appreciate your honest opinion.

Thanks in advance
It's more or less impossible to predict if a Leaf will be reliable or not considering the model has only existed since December 2010 and very few has been produced compared to other more common models (including the Prius). The model is still very rare in Sweden and the only thing I've heard so far is that it doesn't seem to be more unreliable than any other car (possibly the opposite) BUT when you get problems the mechanics are still not quite up to speed with the new technology and therefore need more time to identify and solve problems, get spare parts etc.

Of course, if you live in an area where the Leaf is more common the shops might be better up to speed with the Leaf.... Perhaps. Possible...

My guess is that if reliability is top priority I would either go for a Prius or a traditional gasser because even if the Leaf seems to be a nice car and potentially might even be more reliable than other cars since it lacks the combustion engine I think there will be a lot of weak spots for a while longer when it comes to service, knowledge, spare parts etc...

If I were you I'd get one of the later versions of the Prius. If possible, a plug-in version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I did my apprenticeship in a heavy duty factory, in 1995 I think. They had their own generator and batteries - just in case.

My duty was to top up the batteries with distillate water.

I filled up so many batteries - batteries that never got used - I just don't trust batteries anymore
 

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Qer - are the electric cars good or not ? I just want your opinion
I forgot to mention - I was supposed to be an electrician, I know what a proton is , and how it works
I can't tell since I don't have an EV myself, I never got around building one myself after getting sucked into the Soliton project... :rolleyes:

But THEORETICALLY speaking the reliability of an EV in better than the reliability of a gasser since there's lesser moving parts, lesser things that wear down, more predictable behaviour etc. Historically EVs were pretty common way past WWI, for example doctors often drove electric because they needed something reliable. Why we're all driving dino powered cars these days are mainly because the old EVs lacked speed for highways, lacked decent range and because both the country side and poorer parts of the towns lacked an electric grid to charge the EVs in the beginning of the 20th century. Reliability, however, were seldom a concern.

So what does this have to do with your Leaf? Probably not much, but I like to ramble. :D

However, I would expect a Leaf to be a very trouble free ride as long as you know what you're driving. Afaik all manufactured EVs, Tesla, Renault Clio, GM EV1, Toyota RAV4-EV and so on, has been good, reliable cars with very little incidents if owned, maintained and driven by people knowing that an EV is not a gasser. But that's also the big if...

There has been a few not very successful projects here in Sweden in the 90's where the government tried to introduce EVs for employees to drive in their jobs. Total disaster. They drove until the batteries were flat and the cars had to be towed, the shops didn't know how to do proper maintenance and it didn't take long until most batteries were dead and the cars unusable. I expect you to be interested enough to know what you're driving and handle a Leaf, but the big if is if you can get proper maintenance too. If you can, I'd expect a Leaf at least not to be worse than any other modern car.

But as I've said, I dont' know personally since I don't own any EV myself. I just hang around here since it's fun to read about others driving Soliton-powered EVs... :rolleyes:
 

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I could not help noticing that you are a "builder", and that you are on a diy site. With this in mind, you can build or convert any car to an EV, and you can have it tailored to your specific needs. When you go the diy route, you can have things that are better, like a faster charger, more or less power, big range or budget range, etc. If you go with a production EV like a leaf, you are stuck with a little 6.6 kw charger, possibly less power than you want, and the range may be more than you need or not enough. A production EV is something that you "settle for", which may be just fine, but the diy is something that is tailored to you. Both are way more efficient than a gasser.
 

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Hi guys

I drive a petrol car, I spend quite a lot of money and I drive a limited amount of miles because I work in London and the traffic is horrible. I was thinking of buying a second hand Prius, but now I am thinking of getting a new Leaf.

I am a builder, I need a VERY reliable car. So, I would very much appreciate your honest opinion.

Thanks in advance
If you have a set number if miles you drive each day you can build a car to meet that criteria. If you drive say 10 miles one day and 100 the next never knowing where you will be driving each day a Hybrid or a high mpg petrol car might fit you better. Electric motors supposedly have only one moving part but if that part goes you are SOL. Even though ICE’s have hundreds of moving parts they can still be driven with one or more of those parts not working a good percentage of the time. I drive my EV as often as possible but there are a few times I have to reluctantly take the gasser because the EV will not make the distance there and back. I encourage you to build an electric car but hang on to the infernal combustion car for a while longer.
 

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I could not help noticing that you are a "builder", and that you are on a diy site. With this in mind, you can build or convert any car to an EV, and you can have it tailored to your specific needs.
Key word here is "reliable" I'd say. Even though there are reliable DIY-rides, the path to get there is usually bumpy and time consuming. If you're not afraid of paying for the good stuff you can usually get a good ride.

That is, provided you can figure out what's reliable or not since the risk is that you'll get 11 advises from 10 people and ask the wrong person and they'll recommend even the infamous EPC-1000...

And of course, then you're stuck doing the maintenance yourself too.
 

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According to Consumer Reports, a major nonprofit consumer testing organization in the US, the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius both have reliability that is "Much better than average," which is their highest ratings. So from a reliability standpoint you can't really go wrong with either one, assuming that the only significant difference in the UK models is where the steering wheel is.
 

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The Leaf is reliable enough, and besides, get a deal at the dealer that if anything ever goes, that they provide you with a replacement vehicle instantly, or simply get good vehicle assistance plan, etc.

But the Leaf should not cause you problems.. Also take a look at the Renault Fluence if they are available. A cool car to drive. I like it more than the Leaf, also in terms of driving pleasure.
 

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Re: Are the electric cars any good or not ? Answer YES

Another option is buy used or in my case damaged!! I have a Rabbit with Evnetics and lithium and was building another a Vanagon which would use the AZD DMOC and Siemens combo but then I found a used up and damaged Leaf cheap at auction, I jumped on in it.

Its now running. Paint and body will be done next week. I was lucky that airbags had not deployed, thats $$$. I could never build a car as advanced as the Leaf in any reasonable amount of time and when they can be purchased for less than the cost to build then why not just do it. I will say the parts are not cheap so be careful as replacing items adds up quick $$$.

The Leaf is well designed and built, there is no reason its not at least as or more reliable than most cars in its price range. The best OEM EV in my opinion although if someone wanted to give me a Fisker or Tesla S then I'd take it if I had to pay then no way, call me cheap

I will post the finished shots of the car next week, stay tuned!!

Steve
 

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