As with any used car, shopping for a pre-owned electric vehicle requires a thorough inspection. You should start by searching local dealer inventory online, especially for Certified Pre-Owned models and those offered by used car dealers and private sellers.
Look for a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) model.
Used electric cars sell at lower prices than their traditional counterparts, making them a tempting option for those looking to save money. And since they have fewer moving parts, more can go right. Additionally, most EVs have much longer warranties than their gas-powered counterparts. However, knowing what to look for is essential if you plan to buy a used EV.
If you’re considering purchasing a used EV, you should always consider CPO options first. Certified Pre-Owned models offer warranty protection for the duration of the car’s ownership. This typically includes the original 4-year/50,000-mile basic vehicle warranty and an additional year or 10,000 miles of coverage. However, you should note that CPO programs have age and mileage restrictions.
As a result, you’re more likely to find like-new vehicles when shopping for a used EV through a dealer’s CPO program.
Another advantage of buying a used EV through a CPO program is that you’ll get a more accurate reading of the battery’s condition. Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, affecting how much charge they can hold. This degradation is caused by several factors, including charging at high speeds and driving at highway speeds, which drains batteries much faster than city driving. To avoid this, you should extensively test a used EV to gauge its battery health and performance.
Check the battery
EVs might have fewer moving parts than traditional cars but require regular inspections and maintenance, like tires, brakes, and suspension components. In addition, it’s always wise to have a professional mechanic look over any potential used car before you purchase it. This step could save you a lot of money and stress, especially if a mechanic finds an issue you weren’t aware of.
When shopping for a used Tesla Model Y for sale, paying special attention to the battery is important. A used EV’s battery is a vital component that can make or break its overall performance. As a rule, EV batteries degrade around 2% each year. However, that figure can vary depending on how a vehicle is driven and where it is stored. For example, extreme hot and cold weather tends to speed up degradation.
Suppose you’re worried about an EV battery’s lifespan. In that case, you can check its state of health by charging the vehicle to 100% and comparing its estimated range with the manufacturer’s window-sticker rating. Some EVs display their battery’s health on the instrument cluster or dashboard. Most EV batteries are expected to last between 10 and 20 years, but this estimate isn’t clear. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop for a vehicle with low odometer readings, as this can indicate that the battery is in better condition.
Check The Vehicle’s Mileage.
As with any used car, checking the vehicle’s mileage is important. EVs typically don’t require as many routine maintenance services as traditional gas-powered cars. Still, the batteries degrade over time, and you should know how much range you can expect from an older model. A full charge of a five-year-old EV might only give you about 10 percent of its original range.
Suppose you’re looking for a particular electric car model. In that case, it might be worth seeking out the manufacturer’s certified service center, which should be able to provide you with a battery health report. Alternatively, ask the seller to fully charge the vehicle before you view it and note its estimated range. Using the EPA’s online database, you can also look up the original rating of a specific battery model.
While the hysteria surrounding the battery’s potential for failure is unwarranted, it’s worth considering that EV battery packs lose capacity over time, like the batteries in hybrids and cell phones. However, the risk of an outright battery failure that requires replacement is very low. Still, it’s worth remembering that the EV market is still relatively new, and you may want to think twice about purchasing a used model from a small or no-name manufacturer.
Check The Car’s Condition.
As with shopping for any used car, buyers should consider the vehicle’s condition and whether it fits their budget. However, EV shoppers have some specific considerations to keep in mind that aren’t typically part of the traditional car-buying process.
One of the most important things to check is an EV’s battery health, Moody says. “The condition of the battery is what’s going to make or break an EV,” he adds, and “many pre-owned EVs have batteries that are deteriorating.” While EVs are less prone to wear and tear than conventional vehicles, that doesn’t mean they don’t require any maintenance. Most EVs require significantly fewer regular services than conventional cars, especially when the owner practices smart charging habits.
Another thing to look for is the presence of all the accessories that came with the original EV, such as charging cables and home charging pods. Ensure the seller or dealer provides them and that they’re working correctly. The availability of a wider selection of used electric vehicles is encouraging, but more must be done to address the barriers for some consumers. For example, EV prices continue to fall as manufacturers roll out newer models, but federal tax credits have expired for many of them, and state and local incentives play a role in some areas.