The rise of electric vehicles has made them popular options for drivers looking for an eco-friendly, sustainable way to get from point A to point B. Attractive tax credits, rebates, and the rise of free charging stations have made electric vehicles a no-brainer for drivers looking to purchase a new car. But what about buying a used EV?
Does shopping for used electric vehicles bring with it the same benefits as shopping for new EVs? Well, it all depends. If you are in the market to shop for used cars, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at why you may or may not want to shop for used EVs.
Consider the Age of a Used EV
Shopping for used EVs is a great way to purchase an electric vehicle at an affordable price point. However, you’ll need to look at the major components of an EV’s powertrain before you jump into a purchase. The main component you’ll need to consider is the battery life of the used EV. Just as gas-powered used cars need a well-running engine and transmission, EVs need a battery that is in good shape.
All EV models are different, but each should provide an indication of the battery’s health. Generally, EV batteries can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the make and model. It’s important to do your research on the model you are eyeing and determine how old the battery is in conjunction with the battery’s health. This will not only give you insight into the overall dependability of the vehicle, but it can also help you negotiate a fair price when you shop for used cars.
Know the Vehicle’s Range
Not all electric vehicles are made alike, with standard-range and long-range models being the major factor for most buyers. If you need something for everyday commuting, a standard-range model can suit you well. However, for long-distance commuting, you’ll be better served with a long-range model.
Test Drives Are Important, Especially With a Used EV
When test-driving a vehicle, make sure it is fully powered so that you can get a full scope of its performance. When you take it out for a test drive, turn on all features, including the air conditioning and radio, to see how it performs under typical operation.
EV batteries lose performance capabilities over time, but the decline generally should not exceed 25 to 30%. As you test drive the EV, note the starting range and the ending range to calculate how much of a power decline there was during your test drive.
Investigate Battery Warranty
Most automakers will include some variation of an extended warranty coverage for EV batteries. The typical coverage is usually about 8 years or 100,000 miles after purchase. Be sure to ask about available warranty coverage, as this could offer peace of mind when you shop used electric vehicles. The easiest way to do this is by contacting the automaker directly and providing them with the vehicle identification number (VIN).
Ask About Vehicle History
Finally, make sure to ask about the vehicle’s history and note if it has been involved in any minor or major accidents, especially if the accident may have damaged the battery. As with shopping for gas-powered used cars, you want to make sure the vehicle is free of any potential damage from an accident.
So, Should You Buy a Used EV?
Like any used car, a used electric vehicle can be a great value as long as you take the time to thoroughly inspect it before you fork over your hard-earned money. Outside of battery replacement—which can be costly—EVs cost less to maintain than gas-powered vehicles. It’s also worth investigating certified pre-owned models in your area for extra peace of mind.
So, if you’re looking to save trips to the gas pump and minimize your carbon footprint, a used electric vehicle may be the way to go. They are also a great option if you don’t meet the income requirement to take advantage of tax incentives on new EVs.
This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.