Whether you’re a prospective vehicle buyer or already own a conventional vehicle, you have probably heard of electric vehicles. The answer to drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprint, electric vehicles (“EV”) run on clean, renewable energy, and produce zero emissions. On top of that, they are cheaper to fuel (charge) and maintain over the long run compared to traditional internal combustion-powered vehicles. Unfortunately, new EVs come with a pretty hefty price tag, with the cost being one of the main barriers to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
Even the most affordable electric vehicles sell for between $30,000 and $40,000, locking out plenty of prospective buyers. However, with the second-hand EV market steadily growing, such customers may be able to buy a used electric vehicle for less than $20,000. Used EVs are generally found in the same places you would find conventional second-hand cars as well as auction sites. But before you fork over your cash, here are 3 factors to help you choose the best second-hand EV;
Battery Health is probably the most important factor for a battery-powered electric vehicle. EVs are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs and like all batteries, the cycle of charging and discharging degrade them over time. For electric vehicles, this results in loss of ‘range’, the distance the car can travel on a single charge. EV battery packs fare poorly in extremes such as heat, cold, or other harsh driving and charging behaviors.
You can determine battery health by examining the battery diagnostic report provided by the seller. If it isn’t provided, you can request it or check the car’s onboard computer. The ideal range for a used electric car should be roughly 80% of its original range.
Warranty and Servicing should also be a priority. Most EV makers offer a separate warranty for the vehicle and the battery, usually with the battery getting greater coverage. The standard 8-year warranty for a new car battery passes on to successive owners, so make sure the warranty is still active before purchasing an EV. Additionally, you should also inspect the warranty to determine how the vehicle can be serviced locally. Although EVs have fewer moving parts and generally require less servicing, it doesn’t hurt to be protected.
Charging EVs is quite different from refueling a conventional car. Since the roads aren’t lined with charging stations like they are with gas stations, you’ll have to charge either at home, the office, or at public charging points. Older model EVs may require an adapter to connect to highway chargers, so check the vehicle’s plug type. Ideally, it would be best to install a dedicated EV charger at home, but you should also be able to recharge in public. Make sure you use apps like Plugshare or Nextcharge to confirm a public charging station is compatible with your car.
With all the technology that companies like Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) are putting into EVs, you will certainly get value for money when you shop on the used car market for an electric vehicle.
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