Buying A Used EV : Some Pros And Cons From A European Prospective
Autocar released an interesting overview of the pros and cons behind purchasing a used battery electric car – from a UK perspective of course.
Regionally in the country, there is not that many all-electric offerings on the second-hand market, but slowly more and more are now appearing, and with some attractive pricing.
Here are few examples quoted by the outfit:
- Renault Fluence Z.E. £3000
- Renault Twizy £3000
- Renault ZOE £5000
- Nissan LEAF £6000
- BMW i3 £14,000
- Tesla Model S 85 £46,000
(A full model-by-model further breakdown on these examples can be found in the original article at Autocar here)
Big pros are noted as a low barrier to entry on the pricing, lower energy costs to operate, no congestion charges, and limited other taxes.
However there are some hazards related directly to BEVs, like the uncertainty of existing battery conditions, and replacement costs of those batteries (that is, if one would be needed in the future of course).
A lot of cars sold by Renault, and sometimes by other manufacturers, are also separated from the batteries, which are leased. It’s not obvious whether it pays to lease a battery for older car.
“Buying a car that includes the battery obviously means no monthly rental fees but also no means of easily replacing it. That said, EV battery life appears to be pretty robust, with the earliest Japanese-market Leafs giving up their batteries for a second life to provide electricity storage for the grid, although most UK-sold EVs are too young to have reached that point. When the battery pack does deteriorate to the point that the range is affected, the owner must weigh up whether it’s worth spending a sum greater than the car is worth to replace the battery, or scrapping a car that will otherwise have loads of life left in it, given that electric motors and gearboxes are good for hundreds of thousands of miles.
Check out the Renault Fluence forums, for example, and you’ll find a few owners contemplating the possibility of scrapping their cars rather than renewing the battery pack, because they can’t bring themselves to commit either to an expensive three-year lease or to pay for an entirely new battery for a car that could be worth as little as £2500 despite it having covered far less than 100,000 miles.”
However there are also smaller things worth remembering for first time BEV buyers, like the need to purchase a home charging station for faster charging (if there will be none attached with the car).