Affordable EVs have been on the market in the U.S. for more than a decade, with about 2.2 million on the road at the end of last year, according to data analytics firm Experian. Sales of electric vehicles continue to grow. In 2021, total sales of battery-powered electric vehicles in the United States were less than 450,000, but according to Kelly Blue Book, sales will exceed 800,000 in 2022 and reach 1 million this year. expected to exceed the table. The used EV market is still very small, but the growth trajectory of EV sales is that buying used electric vehicles will become more common, easier over time, and include more make and model choices. means
In many ways, buying a used electric car is no different than looking for any other used car or truck. Does it fit your budget and lifestyle? Reliability and comfort? But beyond those criteria, there are some specific considerations that EV buyers have to consider when it comes to charging options and range.
Here are some of the key EV-specific issues to consider:
Charging still limited in many areas
Currently there are about 145,000 gas station Only 53,000 in the US public charging station. While charging infrastructure is improving, it is still limited in many parts of the country, which can pose a problem for those looking to use electricity. This is an issue with any EV purchase, new or used, but it’s important to understand it before discussing how it affects your used EV buying decision.
Tom McParland, a reporter for Jalopnik, which operates auto-buying service AutoMatch Consulting, says consumers should determine their own range needs and research EVs that meet them. They also need to consider what kind of charging infrastructure is available in their area and whether charging at home is possible, he said.
Chris Harto, senior energy policy analyst at Consumer Reports, said shoppers need to set realistic expectations. “Ask yourself when and where you charge,” he says. “If the answer is that you don’t have a place to charge your car at home or work, then we recommend looking at a wider range of vehicles, including hybrids, which can offer excellent fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs.”
Driving and mileage habits matter
Some expensive EVs have such good range that charging infrastructure is not a problem at all. lucid Aviation (EPA estimated range: up to 516 miles) Tesla Model S (up to 405 miles). However, more affordable electric vehicles tend to have a shorter range.
Battery electric vehicles priced under $35,000. GMThe Chevrolet Volt EV and Hyundai Kona Electric have an EPA range of about 260 miles, but that’s unlikely to reach in real-world driving conditions. This is especially true in cold weather, which can disrupt the electrochemical reactions within the battery.
EV cruising range will decrease
This is where general battery considerations in electrification become more specific concerns. EV range can decrease over time.
Battery may be lost 5% to 10% Power degrades for the first five years and then continues to degrade due to a variety of factors including aging, exposure to extreme temperatures, and use of fast charging. If the deterioration is severe, the battery will need to be repaired or replaced, which may cost a lot of money.
Batteries are one of the most expensive parts of an EV, and can cost upwards of $10,000 to replace, but federal regulations require a warranty of at least eight years or 100,000 miles, so they’re used infrequently. Shoppers considering a BEV are probably still keeping their batteries. Some coverage remains. Additionally, even a used battery may still have enough capacity left to meet your needs.
Accurate battery life is difficult to measure
Determining the exact state of a used BEV’s battery can be difficult. The US auto industry has no standard metric to measure it. But there’s still a way to get a rough idea of the battery’s health.
recurrentis a Seattle startup partnered with automotive site Edmunds to offer EV and plug-in hybrid consumers free battery life remaining based on statistics gleaned from mileage, age, climate and other factors. We provide forecasting services.
Long test drives can also give you an idea of the health of the battery, as you can monitor how quickly it loses charge. This is especially true when high speed continuous cruising is involved. This tends to drain the battery much faster than stop-and-go driving.
As with any used car purchase, it’s worth paying for a professional inspection. “I usually encourage consumers to visit the service department of a retailer. [EVs]said Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ronald Montoya. “I would say that dealer mechanics are definitely more trained than independent mechanics. [EVs] by the manufacturer,” he said.
Electric cars depreciate quickly, but are cheaper to maintain
According to the Kelley Blue Book, EVs generally depreciate faster than ICE vehicles. Three-year-old EVs hold 63% of his value, compared to 66% for cars that use internal combustion engines, according to an automotive research firm. The depreciation after 5 years is even more pronounced, with EVs retaining 37% of their initial value and ICE vehicles retaining 46%.
This depreciation makes a used EV a bargain compared to buying a new car, but don’t be surprised if the price is still high. Many electric vehicles are inherently expensive.
Brian Moody, editor-in-chief of Kelly Blue Book, said the average price of a used EV sold in March was $42,895. That’s down 1.8% from February, but still well above the overall used car market, which averaged just over $27,000 in the first quarter.
However, the low maintenance and upkeep costs make up for the high purchase price. According to Consumer Reports, EV repair and maintenance costs are about half that of gasoline vehicles. ”[EVs] “You don’t need fluids to replace, and electric motors are less complicated than gasoline or diesel engines. Simply put, there’s less to wear out,” said Benjamin Preston, the group’s automotive journalist.
he pointed out recently study This suggests that EVs will have a lower cost of ownership than gasoline vehicles in the long run. The study found that used EVs save even more than new ones. Depreciation costs a little less EV price premium, but used buyers still get the same fuel and maintenance savings.
Used EV Tax Credit Eligibility
In addition to these benefits, a used EV may qualify for state and federal incentives.
Used EVs (and plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles) purchased from licensed dealers for up to $25,000 are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $4,000. Learn more from the IRS.
Many states also have their own tax credits. See what each state has to offer in the Kelley Blue Book.
Where used EVs are traded
In the used car market, the more expensive models are often worth more.
“luxury [EV] “Space is where buyers find the highest value, especially in the sedan segment,” McParland said. It can be used,” he said. ”
Luxury cars often depreciate faster than the mainstream market, he said, adding that changes to the federal tax credit are also impacting the luxury EV market. (Among other requirements, federal tax incentives for new plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, and full battery-powered EVs only apply to SUVs under $80,000 and his under-$55,000 passenger cars.)
Another attractive option is Tesla’s Model 3. It boasts plenty of room for a family of four and a range of up to 358 miles.Used Tesla prices have fallen since 2022, and used Model 3s Sold for under $43,000 in the first quarter.
Montoya said the best deals for shoppers on a budget are models like the Chevrolet Volt EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV that offer a good mix of range and relatively affordable prices.
“The most valuable EVs are those that are old and out of warranty and those that were relatively cheap when new,” Moody said.