For those on a budget and in need of reliable transportation, a used car in good condition seems like a safe option. The exciting news is that the pre-owned market looks quite different than it used to—and used EVs are offering prospective buyers the chance to take a different, more climate-friendly approach to personal transportation.
With the rapidly increasing availability of EV chargers in places people live, work, and play (an effort that we are pleased to be contributing to), the idea of an EV as one’s primary form of transportation is more practical than ever. In this piece, we will explore the growing feasibility and accessibility of used EVs, the most popular pre-owned models and additional rebates and incentives available to buyers to sweeten the deal even more!
Used EVs are Leading the Pack
According to a recent article from auto industry blog Jalopnik, in July 2021, used EV cars topped the pre-owned market over combustion and hybrid vehicles, with the three leading models being the Tesla Model 3, the Chevy Bolt, and the Tesla Model S. These EVs sell, on average, within 2 to 3 weeks rather than 3+ weeks on average for other car types and models.
Costwise, the two Tesla models may still be prohibitive for many, but there are many used EVs currently available for less than $15,000. MyEV.com has a comprehensive list of the best you can buy on a budget, including, but not limited to, the 2015-16 Volkswagen E-Golf, the 2015-2016 Kia Soul EV, the 2012-2017 Ford Focus Electric, and the popular Nissan Leaf (circa 2012-2016).
Used EVs: What to Look For
Since people tend to have less general knowledge about EVs vs. gas vehicles – though even that is shifting – you might wonder about the quality and longevity of the used EV you are interested in. But according to MyEV.com, a properly cared for EV battery will last for well in excess of 100,000 miles before its range becomes restricted, and Consumer Reports estimates that the average EV battery pack’s lifespan sits at around 200,000 miles! With that type of longevity, a used EV may prove to be an even greater value than you originally anticipated.
Even with that in mind, there are things to consider when shopping or negotiating for a used EV. Kelley Blue Book offers a list of 10 things you should know before buying a used electric car—several of which are battery-focused. One notable piece of information that stands out in the list is that a car dealership’s service/maintenance department will give you a detailed report on a car’s battery health, and you can also charge the vehicle to 100 percent before you purchase it and compare the estimated range to the car’s original rating.
Incentives and Rebates for Used EVs
If we haven’t yet convinced you to consider a used EV for your next car purchase, get this: depending on where you live, there are rebates available for the purchase of used EVs. For example, residents of San Mateo County can receive up to $4,000 toward the purchase of a used EV, and the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project outlines other rebates available, depending on what county you live in.
If you live outside of California, check HERE for EV incentives that may be available in your area. If your state doesn’t yet have incentives specifically for used EVs, keep your eyes open for progress on the Affordable EVs for Working Families Act, a bill introduced this past July by Senate Democrats, and find used EVs in your area on Edmunds.
To conclude, we’re pleased to see that electric vehicles are becoming more and more accessible, regardless of income level, and are looking forward to seeing more on the road with each passing year!