7 Must-Know Facts About Buying a Used Electric Car
If you’ve always thought that owning an electric car was too expensive, think again. Thanks to a surplus of used models entering the market, electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf are now remarkably affordable. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this affordability and provide some key insights for those interested in purchasing a used EV.
1. Supply and Demand
One of the main reasons for the affordability of used EVs is the surplus of cars being returned from manufacturer-subsidized leases. Many of these leases lasted two to three years, resulting in a flood of used electric cars on the market. This surplus has created an opportunity for car buyers to find some great deals on used EVs.
2. The Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Two EV models that have seen a decrease in value on the used market are the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. These vehicles are currently selling for less than $10,000 as three-year-old cars in good condition. Industry analysts predict that the continued influx of lease vehicles into the used market will drive prices even lower.
3. Other Affordable Options
In addition to the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, there are other all-electric models to consider. The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (ED) and Ford Focus Electric are also available at relatively low prices on the used car market. While not as common as the Nissan Leaf, these models offer an alternative for those looking for a bargain on a used EV.
4. Depreciation Rates
The depreciation rates of these affordable used EVs are quite significant. After two years, all four models mentioned in this article retain less than 40% of their original value. After three years, the Focus Electric, Leaf, and i-MiEV only hold about a third of their original value. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV’s three-year used value is as low as a fifth of its original MSRP.
5. Tesla Model S
It is worth noting that the Tesla Model S does not experience the same depreciation as other EVs. Its reputation as one of the best-rated models on the market has helped maintain its value. Consumer Reports and other sources consistently rate the Model S highly, which contributes to its lower depreciation compared to luxury cars in its price range.
6. Federal Tax Credit
One factor that affects the affordability of used EVs is the federal tax credit of $7,500. This credit was available to buyers when the vehicles were new and applies to used EVs as well. This subsidy lowers the effective value of EVs, making them more affordable. Combined with relatively stable gasoline prices, this results in further downward price pressure for used EVs.
7. Considerations Before Buying a Used EV
Before purchasing a used EV, there are some key elements to consider. Mileage is not as important as with traditional cars since there are fewer wearable parts associated with an engine. Instead, focus on how the car has been charged and whether it has been exposed to extreme conditions. Additionally, have the car inspected for any damage and get a battery capacity check to evaluate its health. Consider whether fast-charging is necessary, as models without this feature may be more affordable but may become less useful in the future. Finally, buy a model that is fully supported in your area to ensure easy access to proper service and maintenance.
Buying a used electric car is now more enticing than ever, thanks to the surplus of cars entering the market. The Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV offer particularly attractive options for budget-conscious consumers. Furthermore, the lower depreciation rates and availability of federal tax credits contribute to the affordability of these vehicles. By considering important factors such as mileage, inspection, fast-charging needs, and local support, car buyers can make informed decisions while benefiting from the growing number of used-EV deals available.