nissan leaf vs chevy bolt
Armen Hareyan's picture

Leaf Owner Says Nissan is Year Behind Its Competitors, Puts a Deposit for Bolt While Other Owners React

"2012 Leaf - best car I've ever owned. However, now Nissan is a year behind its competitors, and my lease is up. So, today I put a $500 refundable deposit down on a Bolt," writes David Karpman in SF Bay Area Nissan Leaf Owners Group. Which dealers are taking deposits for Bolts?

Here is how other Nissan LEAF and general EV owners reacted to this post in this public discussion, discussing among other things which car dealers already take orders for Chevy Bolt.

Steve Lemke
Which dealer is taking deposits and is this an official GM thing or just unofficial with that dealer?

David Karpman
Novato Chevrolet, talk to Dick Dixon. I'm not really sure if this was an edict from GM or just his dealership group. Or maybe it was just good old fashioned salesmanship. But I do expect his car to be in high demand, especially since it will beat the competition by about a year. If interested, I'd act now.

Ivan Jue
Go to the GM-volt forums. They have a section for the Bolt. Several dealers have offered great deals for the Volt and will likely do the same to the Bolt.

I bought my '16 Volt from Rick Alpren (he's the GM for Keyes Chevy) in Van Nuys, CA. He'll reimburse your plane ticket with purchase. Many of his customers are from out of state.

The Bolt has a lot of promise. It has the 4th gen LG Chem battery, which as done well on Gen 1 and 2 Volts and Spark EV. The CarPlay and Android Auto work very well on Volt and the Bolt's version is the latest version. We should be seeing production versions in CA soon.

Steve Lemke
Anyone know of any EV-friendly (or deposit-friendly) dealers in Santa Clara County? I'd love to put down a refundable deposit on a Bolt... especially if (as it seems) first generation LEAF owners (who didn't win the free battery lottery) are going to be stuck with their not-degraded-soon-enough battery.

Ivan Jue
I didn't have luck with NorCal Chevy dealers last October (when I bought my Volt). All stuck with MSRP or higher.

BUT...in December, GM introduced the Costco Holiday Discount, which was available to all Chevy dealers, not just specific ones. That was huge.

The Costco Discount made the price for the Volt at Invoice. Several other incentives "stacked" and made the price go well below invoice. That's why more people bought Volts versus leased at inception (the lease deals that time weren't that good).

This was the first time Costco offered that kind of deal. Hopefully they may do that again this year. My gut is that they will, given how successful the program was. Also, GM has had a record year of selling SUVs and trucks again, which means they got to move their Volts and Bolts as fast as possible.


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Comments

Good for a lease, but EV owners should size their battery to their commute. Some food for thought, consider the life expectancy of the battery and replacement cost. I believe it is ideal to find a battery that will handle daily commutes and require a daily charge. The Leaf's charger and smaller battery will suite most Americans needs with a simple 110v outlet. Battery replacement is only $5k.
Bought a fully equipped leaf that came off lease and considered battery replacement cost. Have saved cost of replacement battery by fuel and maintenance almost zero cost!
We purchased a 2011 Leaf in August, 2011 and lost the fourth battery capacity bar at 58504 miles.Unfortunately, the date of lost occurance was 19 days past the 5 year mark from purchase date. Our dealer plead our case with Nissan. We were told that the actual battery replacement cost was in excess of $8700 as the replacement battery was slightly smaller than the original and required a special adapter kit. Installation required about a week of labor. Also, the battery rating was the original EPA rated 73 miles - not the so-called Lizard battery of EPA rated 84 miles. Nissan finally offered to replaced the battery for $3000 - inclusive of parts and labor. Not the best senario for is, but one that will allow us to return to full range while we wait for the EV market to advance to the next generation of vehicles. Also, it will take about 45 days to ship the new battery to the dealer. (FYI - Our location is Tucson, AZ. The major culprit to battery longevity is temperature management of which the Leaf has none. Our next EV will have that feature for sure.)
Availability of the Bolt will most likely be an issue here in the midwest US. I live near Cleveland, Ohio; a check of Chevrolet's web site shows a mere eight Volts available for purchase at dealers within a 50 mile radius of my zip code. Volts may be a common sight in SoCal, but they're almost non existant on the road here in Ohio. I don't hold out much hope for being able to buy a Bolt at a local dealer any time soon. At least with Tesla, I could buy a Tesla almost anywhere and be able to get back to Ohio, thanks to the Supercharger network. For the time being, I purchased an off-lease 2011 LEAF two years ago from a local dealer at less than half the original after-tax-rebate cost. Even with a battery less than half the capacity of a Bolt, I don't have any trouble doing as much around town commuting as I need. I just use the included 120 volt cord that came with the LEAF to keep it topped off from a standard wall outlet, avoiding the expense of an EVSE charging station. I doubt many Bolts will make extended trips outside of their home towns - especially without a charging infrastructure such as Tesla's to make doing so practical. To wit, the Bolt's large battery is effectively really nothing more than a range anxiety security blanket. It is too bad that seemingly most consumers demand an unnecessarily large and environmentally wasteful battery pack to get them to make the leap to purchasing an electric car.