Buying a used electric car: the practical guide before you start

Electric cars are coming to the used market. Time to maybe make a good deal.

Faced with sky-high fuel prices, are you considering going electric, but you’re on a tight budget? Why not turn to the apartment? Before you get started, here are some tips from carVertical automotive experts.

1. Consider charging infrastructure

Before buying an electric car, consider the local charging infrastructure. Homeowners can charge their electric cars in a garage or driveway, but apartment dwellers have fewer options.

Most cities do not have proper charging infrastructure, so finding a station can be a real nightmare. It only takes a few minutes to fill up a tank, but it takes up to half a day to charge an electric vehicle. Drivers who live or work far from charging stations can waste a lot of time waiting for their car to charge.

Some companies already offer portable EV chargers aimed at people without a home outlet. However, they only charge the batteries up to a certain level, and currently these
chargers are not an option.

2. Pay attention to battery life

Whether it’s a gas-powered car or an electric car, the battery starts to degrade over time, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Temperature changes, repeated charging and high mileage are some of the factors that reduce battery health. Most car manufacturers guarantee batteries for eight years or 160,000 km. If a vehicle has passed this threshold, there is a good chance that the battery’s performance will be worse than that of a new car, carVertical reminds.

The health of the battery also depends on the climate. The lithium-ion batteries you find in electric vehicles don’t handle heat well. A used vehicle from southern Spain is likely to have autonomy
less, while a car from the Netherlands or Germany can offer drivers a much better battery.

Automotive experts recommend that you check the EV battery’s health report before closing the deal with the seller. It’s expensive to replace the car battery, so it’s best to make sure it’s not worn out.

3. Take a closer look at the vehicle’s history

It is important to check beforehand if the vehicle has been involved in an accident or otherwise, as the vehicle may not be safe to drive and may cause future mechanical problems.

Obviously, you need to pay attention to the braking system and software updates.

4. Buy according to your needs

Before you take the plunge, ask yourself the following questions, which are necessary to assess the vehicle’s autonomy needs: What are you using your used electric car for? Only traveling home for work? Medium and/or long distance trips sometimes? Sole or primary car?

For short trips, a city car will do.

For short trips, a city car will do. And even for medium distances. In this game, the most versatile seems to be the Renault Zoé. Especially with 1 or 2 children with you. The need for autonomy must also be assessed in relation to the available recharging options.

Which used electric cars can you find at a low price?

With 5,000 euros, which is the minimum for a used electric car, you will still have the choice between the Renault Zoé and the ‘C-ZiMiOn’ (Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero). By going up to 7500 euros, you open up to older generation Nissan Leafs. Volkswagen e-ups! can now be found under the 10,000 euro mark. The Kia Soul EV will be available at 12,500 euros. The first Tesla Model S is offered for around 35,000 euros. On the other hand, you will hardly find a Tesla Model X for less than 50,000 euros, details automobile-propre.com.

In use, the main advantages of these electric vehicles are of course the price associated with low maintenance and easy charging. At home, remember that a full supply of electricity (from a reinforced socket or wall terminal) costs less than €10 for a vehicle equipped with generous batteries. That is five times less than a full tank of petrol in a small city car with a combustion engine.

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