10 things you should know before buying a used electric car

Doing your homework is vital if you’re buying a used vehicle. This is especially the case if you are considering an electric vehicle. Having said that, used electric vehicles can offer substantial savings. If you do your homework, you can get a great vehicle at a reasonable price.

The rapid rise in sales of electric vehicles

In recent years, the manufacture and sales of electric vehicles have increased rapidly. While it initially seemed like slow progress with only a few models to choose from and not seeing many on the road, the move towards green electric vehicles and the availability of options, including electric SUV’s and even pickup trucks, is making them more and more of an option, especially among commuters.

Electric cars
The lack of spaces for charging electric cars makes it difficult to transition to this type of vehicle as a method of daily transportation.

However, it’s vital that you do your research when choosing a used electric vehicle so you don’t walk away with a bad deal. According to Kelley Blue Book, there 10 things you should know before buying a used electric vehicle.

1. Maintenance history

This applies to any used vehicle, and electric cars are no exception. You don’t want to buy a used EV and find out later that the previous owner didn’t maintain it. You’ll want to know the history of the vehicle, if it’s been in any accidents or required any bodywork, if anything was replaced, or if aftermarket parts were used.

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2. Negotiate the price of your used electric vehicle

If you’re looking at a used EV, chances are the battery life has dropped a bit. Find out what the status of the battery is and be prepared to discover that it will not have the original full range in the battery. This is not the end of the world and can be a negotiating tool when negotiating the price.

3. Has the battery been replaced?

Learn everything you can about the EV battery. For example, has it been replaced? This is a nice bonus. Kelly Blue Book recommends requesting the CarFax report to find out what has been repaired or replaced on the vehicle.

4. Find out how much battery warranty is left

A typical battery warranty can last up to eight years or 100,000 miles. Still, you can’t count on it. Even if you are given warranty papers that say you have a warranty, you should look for them to make sure the warranty is transferable to a new owner. and that nothing has happened to the vehicle that will void the warranty.

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5. Check the battery capacity of the electric vehicle

This is a check you should always do. You can find out by looking up the VIN, or if it’s a Tesla, the touchscreen should be able to tell you.

2023 Kia Niro PHEV
Kia Niro PHEV 2023. / Photo: Courtesy Kia.

6. Determine your range

While today’s new electric cars have impressive ranges, the used EV you’re looking at may have a much shorter range. It’s important to take an honest look at what you really need. An EV that only has a range of 150 miles or less may be perfectly adequate as a commuter vehicle.

7. Check the charge rate

Not all electric vehicles charge the same rate. Take an honest look at what will work for you, as older electric vehicles can take longer to charge.

8. What is the access to EV chargers?

There are three levels of EV chargers:

Level 1: This is the basic three-prong plug in your home. The downside is that charging is very slow.

Level 2: this is a 240 volt that requires a specific external device to charge and is a common way to charge electric vehicles.

Level 3: refers to the charging stations that you know and for which you usually have to pay. These are the fastest.

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Consider charging when shopping for an EV. Think about your access to chargers, whether you can charge at home, and how long it’s reasonable to charge.

9. Find out about the incentives

While most government and local incentives only apply to the purchase of a new electric vehicle, some may also apply to the purchase of a used electric vehicle, so it’s best to check with the agency or your tax preparer. taxes.

10. Make sure you have all your accessories

Check that your vehicle comes with a charging cable and, if possible, a level 2 charger. These devices can be expensive, so if they offer it, all the better.

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