Design News: Should You Buy a Used Electric Vehicle?

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Design News: Should You Buy a Used Electric Vehicle?

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https://www.designnews.com/electronics-test/14-pre-owned-electric-vehicle-models-affordable-way-electrify

14 Pre-owned Electric Vehicle Models: An Affordable Way To Electrify
Electric vehicles are reliable and have low maintenance costs—are these
good reasons to buy a used one?
-----

     We are on the cusp of the second wave of battery electric vehicles
(EVs). Models coming out now and in the next couple years are larger and
more mainstream than the EVs that came earlier. They also will be
capable of much longer range: 250 to 300 miles on a charge. But what of
those early attempts at electrification from the first wave? Many of
them are available on the used market—often for surprisingly low prices.

     Before the arrival of the Nissan Leaf in 2011, the battery
electric-vehicle (EV) market was almost non-existent. The Leaf and the
Chevrolet Volt proved to be a vanguard of what was to follow. Some
automakers sold EVs that were designed solely to comply with the
California regulations, which required that car makers offer a
percentage of their fleet with zero emissions. Yet others embraced the
idea that electrification might be the future. The EVs built in that
first wave, between 2011 and 2016, were typically small, expensive, and
had a range of 60-100 miles on a charge.

     Risk

     Buying a used car is always a risk—even with good documentation and
service records, it is still hard to know how well a vehicle has been
maintained and whether it has been abused. The good news about used
electric vehicles is that EVs, with fewer moving parts than traditional
gasoline-powered vehicles, have been shown to be mechanically robust and
reliable, requiring little beyond routine maintenance. In addition,
because of their limited range, they often have accumulated quite low
mileage for their year, another positive.

     But there is a sword hanging over any used EV: the battery pack.
The condition of the lithium-ion battery pack that powers EVs of this
period depends enormously on how it has been treated during its
lifetime. Repeated fast charging, completely depleting the battery, or
operation at hot or cold temperature extremes can result in a battery
pack with reduced capability when compared to when it was new. Just
normal aging of a pack can result in a reduction of around 5% capacity
per year. Many car makers placed warranties on their battery packs,
typically 8 years or 100,000 miles, but some early EVs on the used
market are nearing that age limit. So the range quoted for a new EV in
2015 may not be reached by a used EV in 2018 with an aging pack.

     Good News

     There are two bits of good news for those contemplating a used EV.
The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen dramatically, from well
over $1000 per kilowatt-hour (kW) just a few years ago to around $200
per kWh today. Secondly, there has grown up a cottage industry of
specialists who can rejuvenate a used EV pack, replacing malfunctioning
cells and returning them to nearly new capacity. There are also some
aftermarket computer tools available to assess to condition of a pack.
Suffice it to say that any buyer of a used EV should do their homework
before considering such a purchase.

     To examine the prices of some available used EVs, Design News
reached out to Kelly Blue Book (KBB) to provide current used car prices.
KBB is an industry standard for reliable used car pricing. We chose to
price our cars as if they were in Very Good condition and if we were
buying from a private party. The prices when buying from a used car
dealer might be slightly higher. We reported the current used price for
the first year a vehicle was available, the used price for a 2017 model
of the vehicle or the last year it was available, and the new vehicle
price (MSRP from KBB) for the last year it was available, or for 2018 if
the vehicle is still available.

     We also included a few plug-in hybrids in our list. These vehicles
allow some electric-only range using a battery pack that is charged at
home and then resort to a gasoline engine to produce a longer range. Car
companies looked at plug-in hybrids as a way to address the “range
anxiety” that was present when EVs only had a range of 60-100 miles on a
charge.

     With prices that range from less than $5,000 to more than $60,000,
here are some used EVs to consider.

      Photo: 2011 Chevrolet Volt (Image source: Chevrolet)

     Nissan Leaf SL (2011-2017)

     Nissan was one of the first of the major car companies out of the
gate, into production with its all-electric Leaf in 2011. Since that
time, the company has sold more than 300,000 Leafs, making it the
biggest-selling EV in the world. The Leaf is easy to drive, reasonably
comfortable, and well-made. As long as you don’t drive more than 70-100
miles in a day, a used Leaf would make a fine commuter car. The larger
30 kWh battery pack arrived in 2016, but there have been questions about
whether it is degrading faster than the original 24 kWh pack. The
earliest Leafs are also reaching the end of their 8-year battery
warranty period. An all-new Leaf was introduced for 2018.

     Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

     New       2018                     $37,085               Range: 150
miles

                    2017                     $20,238
Range: 107 miles

                    2011                     $6,101
Range: 72 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles

     (Image source: Nissan)

     BMW i3 (2014-2017)

     When BMW introduced the i3 in 2014, it was clear that the German
car company wanted to make a statement about its EVs. The i3 had a
unique shape and architecture that it didn’t share with any other
vehicle in the BMW lineup. Its carbon-fiber reinforced body helped
reduce weight while its interior was made largely from recycled and
recyclable materials. The i3 also was available with a two-cylinder
range-extender gasoline engine to help assuage those range anxiety
fears. Most of all, the i3 is a BMW—its performance and driving
characteristics set it apart from other EVs, new or used.

     Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

     New       2018                     $48,645               Range: 114
miles

                    2017                     $33,165
Range: 114 miles

                    2014                     $16,095
Range: 80 miles

     Battery Warranty: At least 70% capacity for 8 years or 100,000
miles

     (Image source: BMW)

     Smart fortwo electric drive (2013-2017)

     The Smart fortwo is the smallest car available in the U.S., as it
was when the electric drive version was introduced in 2013. With a small
17.8 kWh battery pack, tight dimensions, an incredibly tight turning
circle, and just two seats, the fortwo is really designed to be a city
commuter. Fortunately, it’s a task at which the Smart excels. That small
battery pack can be charged on a Level 2 (220-V) charger in just a few
hours. A cabriolet version is also available for open-air electric
motoring.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2017                     $24,550               Range: 75
miles

                    2017                     $17,116
Range: 75 miles

                    2013                     $3,557
Range: 75 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 62,000 miles

     (Image source: Smart)

     Fiat 500e (2013-2017)

     Originally available only in California, the Fiat 500e has found
its way across the country—although finding one locally may not always
be easy. It’s a subcompact without a lot of rear seat room, and its
range is limited. But around town, the Fiat 500e is a stylish and fun
way to travel. Resale value is obviously low, which is good news if you
are in the market for a fun, but cheap, used EV.

     Summary:

                                                KBB Price

     New       2017                     $32,795               Range: 87
miles

                    2017                     $11,902
Range: 87 miles

                    2013                     $6,789
Range: 87 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

     (Image source: Fiat)

     Volkswagen e-Golf (2015-2017)

     The Volkswagen eGolf is based upon the gasoline-powered version of
the car. That’s not a bad thing if you are an avid driver, as the Golf
has long been considered one of Europe’s best-handling small cars. The
somewhat high price of a used eGolf (relative to other used small EVs)
demonstrates the enthusiasm that many have for these cars. VW has
announced big plans for electrification of its fleet in coming years, so
buying a used eGolf might mark you as an early adopter among fans of the
company.

     Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

     New       2017                     $37,845               Range: 125
miles

                    2017                     $27,958
Range: 100 miles

                    2015                     $15,169
Range: 83 miles

     Battery Warranty: At least 70% capacity for 8 years or 100,000
miles

     (Image source: Volkswagen)

     Chevrolet Spark EV (2014-2016)

     The non-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark was one of the
least expensive cars in the U.S., and its electric cousin was available
for around $20,000 after incentives. The EV version had a robust
140-horsepower motor, which allowed the small car to race to 60 mph in
just over 7 seconds. Initially the Spark EV was only available in
California and Oregon. At the end of its run, it also was available in
Maryland.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2016                     $26,000               Range: 82
miles

                    2016                     $9,413
Range: 82 miles

                    2014                     $8,120
Range: 82 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

     (Image source: Chevrolet)

     Mitsubishi i-MiEV (2012-2017)

     The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is all about its low initial purchase price.
What is hard to live with is a range of just 62 miles—less if it is
drive hard. Its funky looks and small size scream “EV,” which may be a
good or a bad thing, depending upon your goals. If you have a short
commute, want to get your EV feet wet without spending much money, and
want the world to know you are driving an EV, the i-MiEV might be for
you.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2017                     $23,845                Range: 62
miles

                    2017                     $10,548
Range: 62 miles

                    2012                     $4,866
Range: 62 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

     (Image source: Mitsubishi)

     Tesla Model S (2012-2017)

     It’s hard to imagine that the Tesla Model S is just six years old.
It has had a presence in and impact on the EV market far beyond its
sales numbers. Over the years, it has been available with a number of
different battery pack sizes that can provide a range over 300 miles on
a charge, and with single and dual motors for performance up to and
including “Ludicrous.” Prices can easily exceed $135,000 for a fully
optioned new Model S. For a used one, it all comes down to what you can
find and how it is equipped. Add in the Tesla Supercharger system of
nationwide charging stations and a used Model S is an attractive
prospect.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2018                     $74,200                Range:
250 miles

                    2017                     $61,423
Range: 250 miles

                    2012                     $41,786
Range: 230 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 125,000 miles

     (Image source: Tesla)

     Tesla Model X 75D (2016-2017)

     Tesla was ahead of the curve when it introduced an electric
cross-over utility vehicle (CUV), the Model X. With competition now on
the horizon from Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, and
Mercedes-Benz, the Tesla Model X still has the specifications to
withstand the onslaught. Every Model X has twin electric motors, a whole
range of standard features, and unique “Falcon Wing” rear doors that
open upward instead of outward. An optional 100 kWh battery in place of
the 75 kWh battery can provide a range of up to 295 miles. The Model X
can also access the Tesla Supercharger charging network.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2018                     $80,700               Range: 237

                    2016                     $69,984
Range: 237 miles

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, unlimited miles

     (Image source: Tesla)

     Fisker Karma (2012) (Plug-in Hybrid)

     The Fisker Karma was a beautiful four-passenger sedan that lasted
just one year in production. It was a hybrid with a 50-mile battery
range and an auxiliary gasoline engine to provide additional range.
Since the company went out of business, there is no battery or
drivetrain warranty, nor a dealer network, so buying one could be a true
risk. A new Fisker venture is underway with a promise to build EVs in
2019.

     Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

     New       2012                     $103,000             Range: 50
miles (on battery)

                    2012                     $31,225 est.        Range:
50 miles (on battery)

     Battery Warranty: none

     (Image source: Fisker)

     Prius Plug-in (2012-2015) (Plug-in Hybrid)

     For 2012, Toyota added plug-in charging capability and a
lithium-ion battery pack to its long-running Prius hybrid. Although the
battery-only range was small (11 miles), for many people, the extra
energy in the battery meant that they could recharge their battery
overnight. They only had to fill up the Toyota’s gas tank once or twice
a month. The other advantage of the small battery pack is that it
charges in just a few hours, even using normal 120-V household current.
The Prius Plug-in ended production in 2015, but a new version of the
plug-in Prius called the Prime became available in 2017. It boasts a
25-mile battery-only range.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2015                     $30,815               Range: 11
miles (on battery)

                    2015                     $17,590
Range: 11 miles (on battery)

                    2012                     $11,868
Range: 11 miles (on battery)

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

     (Image source: Toyota)

     Chevrolet Volt (2011-2017) (Plug-in Hybrid)

     Chevrolet recognized that “range anxiety” would be a big factor in
the acceptance of electric vehicles, so it equipped the Volt with a
1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It would take over after the
battery reached a certain level of discharge and provide an extended
range of over 350 miles. It was a smart way to introduce the American
public to EVs and the Chevrolet Volt remains a practical alternative to
the Nissan Leaf on the used EV market. A second generation of the Volt
arrived in 2016, with more battery power and a more usable interior.

     Summary:

                                                 KBB Price

     New       2018                     $34,095                Range: 53
miles (on battery)

                    2017                     $26,231
Range: 53 miles (on battery)

                    2011                     $9,542
Range: 35 miles (on battery)

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

     (Image source: Chevrolet)

     Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid (2013-2017) (Plug-in Hybrid)

     The Ford Fusion is a roomy and stylish sedan that was made even
more attractive by the addition of a hybrid and plug-in hybrid system.
The plug-in version provided a modest 21 miles of range before the
battery was depleted and the Fusion switched over to gasoline power.

     Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

     New       2018                     $32,180               Range: 21
miles (on battery)

                    2017                     $22,056
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

                    2013                     $12,514
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles



     (Image source: Ford)

     Ford Fusion C-MAX Energi (2013-2017) (Plug-in Hybrid)

     The five-door hatchback has always been a practical family hauler.
By adding a plug-in hybrid system, Ford had a competitor for the Prius
Plug-in. Sales were never very high and the C-MAX Energi ended its
production run at the end of 2017.

     Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

     New       2017                     $27,995               Range: 21
miles (on battery)

                    2017                     $15,102
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

                    2013                     $10,576
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

     Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

     (Image source: Ford)

     We are on the cusp of the second wave of battery electric vehicles
(EVs). Models coming out now and in the next couple years are larger and
more mainstream than the EVs that came earlier. They also will be
capable of much longer range: 250 to 300 miles on a charge. But what of
those early attempts at electrification from the first wave? Many of
them are available on the used market—often for surprisingly low prices.

     Before the arrival of the Nissan Leaf in 2011, the battery
electric-vehicle (EV) market was almost non-existent. The Leaf and the
Chevrolet Volt proved to be a vanguard of what was to follow. Some
automakers sold EVs that were designed solely to comply with the
California regulations, which required that car makers offer a
percentage of their fleet with zero emissions. Yet others embraced the
idea that electrification might be the future. The EVs built in that
first wave, between 2011 and 2016, were typically small, expensive, and
had a range of 60-100 miles on a charge.

     Risk

     Buying a used car is always a risk—even with good documentation and
service records, it is still hard to know how well a vehicle has been
maintained and whether it has been abused. The good news about used
electric vehicles is that EVs, with fewer moving parts than traditional
gasoline-powered vehicles, have been shown to be mechanically robust and
reliable, requiring little beyond routine maintenance. In addition,
because of their limited range, they often have accumulated quite low
mileage for their year, another positive.

     But there is a sword hanging over any used EV: the battery pack.
The condition of the lithium-ion battery pack that powers EVs of this
period depends enormously on how it has been treated during its
lifetime. Repeated fast charging, completely depleting the battery, or
operation at hot or cold temperature extremes can result in a battery
pack with reduced capability when compared to when it was new. Just
normal aging of a pack can result in a reduction of around 5% capacity
per year. Many car makers placed warranties on their battery packs,
typically 8 years or 100,000 miles, but some early EVs on the used
market are nearing that age limit. So the range quoted for a new EV in
2015 may not be reached by a used EV in 2018 with an aging pack.

     Good News

     There are two bits of good news for those contemplating a used EV.
The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen dramatically, from well
over $1000 per kilowatt-hour (kW) just a few years ago to around $200
per kWh today. Secondly, there has grown up a cottage industry of
specialists who can rejuvenate a used EV pack, replacing malfunctioning
cells and returning them to nearly new capacity. There are also some
aftermarket computer tools available to assess to condition of a pack.
Suffice it to say that any buyer of a used EV should do their homework
before considering such a purchase.

     To examine the prices of some available used EVs, Design News
reached out to Kelly Blue Book (KBB) to provide current used car prices.
KBB is an industry standard for reliable used car pricing. We chose to
price our cars as if they were in Very Good condition and if we were
buying from a private party. The prices when buying from a used car
dealer might be slightly higher. We reported the current used price for
the first year a vehicle was available, the used price for a 2017 model
of the vehicle or the last year it was available, and the new vehicle
price (MSRP from KBB) for the last year it was available, or for 2018 if
the vehicle is still available.

     We also included a few plug-in hybrids in our list. These vehicles
allow some electric-only range using a battery pack that is charged at
home and then resort to a gasoline engine to produce a longer range. Car
companies looked at plug-in hybrids as a way to address the “range
anxiety” that was present when EVs only had a range of 60-100 miles on a
charge.

     With prices that range from less than $5,000 to more than $60,000,
here are some used EVs to consider.

      [Photo: 2011 Chevrolet Volt (Image source: Chevrolet)]

Senior Editor Kevin Clemens has been writing about energy, automotive,
and transportation topics for more than 30 years. He has masters degrees
in Materials Engineering and Environmental Education and a doctorate
degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerodynamics. He has
set several world land speed records on electric motorcycles that he
built in his workshop.


---

Len Moskowitz
_______________________________________________
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Re: Design News: Should You Buy a Used Electric Vehicle?

Electric Vehicle Discussion List mailing list
In reality, the driver of EV's was the Lithium Ion Battery not Nissan or BMW or anyone else.
Conversions went way up as soon as we could get these batteries. It made EV's useful to the average person.




      From: Len Moskowitz via EV <[hidden email]>
 To: EVDL <[hidden email]>
Cc: Len Moskowitz <[hidden email]>
 Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 7:54 AM
 Subject: [EVDL] Design News: Should You Buy a Used Electric Vehicle?
   
https://www.designnews.com/electronics-test/14-pre-owned-electric-vehicle-models-affordable-way-electrify

14 Pre-owned Electric Vehicle Models: An Affordable Way To Electrify
Electric vehicles are reliable and have low maintenance costs—are these
good reasons to buy a used one?
-----

    We are on the cusp of the second wave of battery electric vehicles
(EVs). Models coming out now and in the next couple years are larger and
more mainstream than the EVs that came earlier. They also will be
capable of much longer range: 250 to 300 miles on a charge. But what of
those early attempts at electrification from the first wave? Many of
them are available on the used market—often for surprisingly low prices.

    Before the arrival of the Nissan Leaf in 2011, the battery
electric-vehicle (EV) market was almost non-existent. The Leaf and the
Chevrolet Volt proved to be a vanguard of what was to follow. Some
automakers sold EVs that were designed solely to comply with the
California regulations, which required that car makers offer a
percentage of their fleet with zero emissions. Yet others embraced the
idea that electrification might be the future. The EVs built in that
first wave, between 2011 and 2016, were typically small, expensive, and
had a range of 60-100 miles on a charge.

    Risk

    Buying a used car is always a risk—even with good documentation and
service records, it is still hard to know how well a vehicle has been
maintained and whether it has been abused. The good news about used
electric vehicles is that EVs, with fewer moving parts than traditional
gasoline-powered vehicles, have been shown to be mechanically robust and
reliable, requiring little beyond routine maintenance. In addition,
because of their limited range, they often have accumulated quite low
mileage for their year, another positive.

    But there is a sword hanging over any used EV: the battery pack.
The condition of the lithium-ion battery pack that powers EVs of this
period depends enormously on how it has been treated during its
lifetime. Repeated fast charging, completely depleting the battery, or
operation at hot or cold temperature extremes can result in a battery
pack with reduced capability when compared to when it was new. Just
normal aging of a pack can result in a reduction of around 5% capacity
per year. Many car makers placed warranties on their battery packs,
typically 8 years or 100,000 miles, but some early EVs on the used
market are nearing that age limit. So the range quoted for a new EV in
2015 may not be reached by a used EV in 2018 with an aging pack.

    Good News

    There are two bits of good news for those contemplating a used EV.
The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen dramatically, from well
over $1000 per kilowatt-hour (kW) just a few years ago to around $200
per kWh today. Secondly, there has grown up a cottage industry of
specialists who can rejuvenate a used EV pack, replacing malfunctioning
cells and returning them to nearly new capacity. There are also some
aftermarket computer tools available to assess to condition of a pack.
Suffice it to say that any buyer of a used EV should do their homework
before considering such a purchase.

    To examine the prices of some available used EVs, Design News
reached out to Kelly Blue Book (KBB) to provide current used car prices.
KBB is an industry standard for reliable used car pricing. We chose to
price our cars as if they were in Very Good condition and if we were
buying from a private party. The prices when buying from a used car
dealer might be slightly higher. We reported the current used price for
the first year a vehicle was available, the used price for a 2017 model
of the vehicle or the last year it was available, and the new vehicle
price (MSRP from KBB) for the last year it was available, or for 2018 if
the vehicle is still available.

    We also included a few plug-in hybrids in our list. These vehicles
allow some electric-only range using a battery pack that is charged at
home and then resort to a gasoline engine to produce a longer range. Car
companies looked at plug-in hybrids as a way to address the “range
anxiety” that was present when EVs only had a range of 60-100 miles on a
charge.

    With prices that range from less than $5,000 to more than $60,000,
here are some used EVs to consider.

      Photo: 2011 Chevrolet Volt (Image source: Chevrolet)

    Nissan Leaf SL (2011-2017)

    Nissan was one of the first of the major car companies out of the
gate, into production with its all-electric Leaf in 2011. Since that
time, the company has sold more than 300,000 Leafs, making it the
biggest-selling EV in the world. The Leaf is easy to drive, reasonably
comfortable, and well-made. As long as you don’t drive more than 70-100
miles in a day, a used Leaf would make a fine commuter car. The larger
30 kWh battery pack arrived in 2016, but there have been questions about
whether it is degrading faster than the original 24 kWh pack. The
earliest Leafs are also reaching the end of their 8-year battery
warranty period. An all-new Leaf was introduced for 2018.

    Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

    New      2018                    $37,085              Range: 150
miles

                    2017                    $20,238
Range: 107 miles

                    2011                    $6,101
Range: 72 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles

    (Image source: Nissan)

    BMW i3 (2014-2017)

    When BMW introduced the i3 in 2014, it was clear that the German
car company wanted to make a statement about its EVs. The i3 had a
unique shape and architecture that it didn’t share with any other
vehicle in the BMW lineup. Its carbon-fiber reinforced body helped
reduce weight while its interior was made largely from recycled and
recyclable materials. The i3 also was available with a two-cylinder
range-extender gasoline engine to help assuage those range anxiety
fears. Most of all, the i3 is a BMW—its performance and driving
characteristics set it apart from other EVs, new or used.

    Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

    New      2018                    $48,645              Range: 114
miles

                    2017                    $33,165
Range: 114 miles

                    2014                    $16,095
Range: 80 miles

    Battery Warranty: At least 70% capacity for 8 years or 100,000
miles

    (Image source: BMW)

    Smart fortwo electric drive (2013-2017)

    The Smart fortwo is the smallest car available in the U.S., as it
was when the electric drive version was introduced in 2013. With a small
17.8 kWh battery pack, tight dimensions, an incredibly tight turning
circle, and just two seats, the fortwo is really designed to be a city
commuter. Fortunately, it’s a task at which the Smart excels. That small
battery pack can be charged on a Level 2 (220-V) charger in just a few
hours. A cabriolet version is also available for open-air electric
motoring.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2017                    $24,550              Range: 75
miles

                    2017                    $17,116
Range: 75 miles

                    2013                    $3,557
Range: 75 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 62,000 miles

    (Image source: Smart)

    Fiat 500e (2013-2017)

    Originally available only in California, the Fiat 500e has found
its way across the country—although finding one locally may not always
be easy. It’s a subcompact without a lot of rear seat room, and its
range is limited. But around town, the Fiat 500e is a stylish and fun
way to travel. Resale value is obviously low, which is good news if you
are in the market for a fun, but cheap, used EV.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2017                    $32,795              Range: 87
miles

                    2017                    $11,902
Range: 87 miles

                    2013                    $6,789
Range: 87 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

    (Image source: Fiat)

    Volkswagen e-Golf (2015-2017)

    The Volkswagen eGolf is based upon the gasoline-powered version of
the car. That’s not a bad thing if you are an avid driver, as the Golf
has long been considered one of Europe’s best-handling small cars. The
somewhat high price of a used eGolf (relative to other used small EVs)
demonstrates the enthusiasm that many have for these cars. VW has
announced big plans for electrification of its fleet in coming years, so
buying a used eGolf might mark you as an early adopter among fans of the
company.

    Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

    New      2017                    $37,845              Range: 125
miles

                    2017                    $27,958
Range: 100 miles

                    2015                    $15,169
Range: 83 miles

    Battery Warranty: At least 70% capacity for 8 years or 100,000
miles

    (Image source: Volkswagen)

    Chevrolet Spark EV (2014-2016)

    The non-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark was one of the
least expensive cars in the U.S., and its electric cousin was available
for around $20,000 after incentives. The EV version had a robust
140-horsepower motor, which allowed the small car to race to 60 mph in
just over 7 seconds. Initially the Spark EV was only available in
California and Oregon. At the end of its run, it also was available in
Maryland.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2016                    $26,000              Range: 82
miles

                    2016                    $9,413
Range: 82 miles

                    2014                    $8,120
Range: 82 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

    (Image source: Chevrolet)

    Mitsubishi i-MiEV (2012-2017)

    The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is all about its low initial purchase price.
What is hard to live with is a range of just 62 miles—less if it is
drive hard. Its funky looks and small size scream “EV,” which may be a
good or a bad thing, depending upon your goals. If you have a short
commute, want to get your EV feet wet without spending much money, and
want the world to know you are driving an EV, the i-MiEV might be for
you.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2017                    $23,845                Range: 62
miles

                    2017                    $10,548
Range: 62 miles

                    2012                    $4,866
Range: 62 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

    (Image source: Mitsubishi)

    Tesla Model S (2012-2017)

    It’s hard to imagine that the Tesla Model S is just six years old.
It has had a presence in and impact on the EV market far beyond its
sales numbers. Over the years, it has been available with a number of
different battery pack sizes that can provide a range over 300 miles on
a charge, and with single and dual motors for performance up to and
including “Ludicrous.” Prices can easily exceed $135,000 for a fully
optioned new Model S. For a used one, it all comes down to what you can
find and how it is equipped. Add in the Tesla Supercharger system of
nationwide charging stations and a used Model S is an attractive
prospect.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2018                    $74,200                Range:
250 miles

                    2017                    $61,423
Range: 250 miles

                    2012                    $41,786
Range: 230 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 125,000 miles

    (Image source: Tesla)

    Tesla Model X 75D (2016-2017)

    Tesla was ahead of the curve when it introduced an electric
cross-over utility vehicle (CUV), the Model X. With competition now on
the horizon from Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, and
Mercedes-Benz, the Tesla Model X still has the specifications to
withstand the onslaught. Every Model X has twin electric motors, a whole
range of standard features, and unique “Falcon Wing” rear doors that
open upward instead of outward. An optional 100 kWh battery in place of
the 75 kWh battery can provide a range of up to 295 miles. The Model X
can also access the Tesla Supercharger charging network.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2018                    $80,700              Range: 237

                    2016                    $69,984
Range: 237 miles

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, unlimited miles

    (Image source: Tesla)

    Fisker Karma (2012) (Plug-in Hybrid)

    The Fisker Karma was a beautiful four-passenger sedan that lasted
just one year in production. It was a hybrid with a 50-mile battery
range and an auxiliary gasoline engine to provide additional range.
Since the company went out of business, there is no battery or
drivetrain warranty, nor a dealer network, so buying one could be a true
risk. A new Fisker venture is underway with a promise to build EVs in
2019.

    Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

    New      2012                    $103,000            Range: 50
miles (on battery)

                    2012                    $31,225 est.        Range:
50 miles (on battery)

    Battery Warranty: none

    (Image source: Fisker)

    Prius Plug-in (2012-2015) (Plug-in Hybrid)

    For 2012, Toyota added plug-in charging capability and a
lithium-ion battery pack to its long-running Prius hybrid. Although the
battery-only range was small (11 miles), for many people, the extra
energy in the battery meant that they could recharge their battery
overnight. They only had to fill up the Toyota’s gas tank once or twice
a month. The other advantage of the small battery pack is that it
charges in just a few hours, even using normal 120-V household current.
The Prius Plug-in ended production in 2015, but a new version of the
plug-in Prius called the Prime became available in 2017. It boasts a
25-mile battery-only range.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2015                    $30,815              Range: 11
miles (on battery)

                    2015                    $17,590
Range: 11 miles (on battery)

                    2012                    $11,868
Range: 11 miles (on battery)

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

    (Image source: Toyota)

    Chevrolet Volt (2011-2017) (Plug-in Hybrid)

    Chevrolet recognized that “range anxiety” would be a big factor in
the acceptance of electric vehicles, so it equipped the Volt with a
1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It would take over after the
battery reached a certain level of discharge and provide an extended
range of over 350 miles. It was a smart way to introduce the American
public to EVs and the Chevrolet Volt remains a practical alternative to
the Nissan Leaf on the used EV market. A second generation of the Volt
arrived in 2016, with more battery power and a more usable interior.

    Summary:

                                                KBB Price

    New      2018                    $34,095                Range: 53
miles (on battery)

                    2017                    $26,231
Range: 53 miles (on battery)

                    2011                    $9,542
Range: 35 miles (on battery)

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

    (Image source: Chevrolet)

    Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid (2013-2017) (Plug-in Hybrid)

    The Ford Fusion is a roomy and stylish sedan that was made even
more attractive by the addition of a hybrid and plug-in hybrid system.
The plug-in version provided a modest 21 miles of range before the
battery was depleted and the Fusion switched over to gasoline power.

    Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

    New      2018                    $32,180              Range: 21
miles (on battery)

                    2017                    $22,056
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

                    2013                    $12,514
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles



    (Image source: Ford)

    Ford Fusion C-MAX Energi (2013-2017) (Plug-in Hybrid)

    The five-door hatchback has always been a practical family hauler.
By adding a plug-in hybrid system, Ford had a competitor for the Prius
Plug-in. Sales were never very high and the C-MAX Energi ended its
production run at the end of 2017.

    Summary:

                                                  KBB Price

    New      2017                    $27,995              Range: 21
miles (on battery)

                    2017                    $15,102
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

                    2013                    $10,576
Range: 21 miles (on battery)

    Battery Warranty: 8 years, 100,000 miles

    (Image source: Ford)

    We are on the cusp of the second wave of battery electric vehicles
(EVs). Models coming out now and in the next couple years are larger and
more mainstream than the EVs that came earlier. They also will be
capable of much longer range: 250 to 300 miles on a charge. But what of
those early attempts at electrification from the first wave? Many of
them are available on the used market—often for surprisingly low prices.

    Before the arrival of the Nissan Leaf in 2011, the battery
electric-vehicle (EV) market was almost non-existent. The Leaf and the
Chevrolet Volt proved to be a vanguard of what was to follow. Some
automakers sold EVs that were designed solely to comply with the
California regulations, which required that car makers offer a
percentage of their fleet with zero emissions. Yet others embraced the
idea that electrification might be the future. The EVs built in that
first wave, between 2011 and 2016, were typically small, expensive, and
had a range of 60-100 miles on a charge.

    Risk

    Buying a used car is always a risk—even with good documentation and
service records, it is still hard to know how well a vehicle has been
maintained and whether it has been abused. The good news about used
electric vehicles is that EVs, with fewer moving parts than traditional
gasoline-powered vehicles, have been shown to be mechanically robust and
reliable, requiring little beyond routine maintenance. In addition,
because of their limited range, they often have accumulated quite low
mileage for their year, another positive.

    But there is a sword hanging over any used EV: the battery pack.
The condition of the lithium-ion battery pack that powers EVs of this
period depends enormously on how it has been treated during its
lifetime. Repeated fast charging, completely depleting the battery, or
operation at hot or cold temperature extremes can result in a battery
pack with reduced capability when compared to when it was new. Just
normal aging of a pack can result in a reduction of around 5% capacity
per year. Many car makers placed warranties on their battery packs,
typically 8 years or 100,000 miles, but some early EVs on the used
market are nearing that age limit. So the range quoted for a new EV in
2015 may not be reached by a used EV in 2018 with an aging pack.

    Good News

    There are two bits of good news for those contemplating a used EV.
The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen dramatically, from well
over $1000 per kilowatt-hour (kW) just a few years ago to around $200
per kWh today. Secondly, there has grown up a cottage industry of
specialists who can rejuvenate a used EV pack, replacing malfunctioning
cells and returning them to nearly new capacity. There are also some
aftermarket computer tools available to assess to condition of a pack.
Suffice it to say that any buyer of a used EV should do their homework
before considering such a purchase.

    To examine the prices of some available used EVs, Design News
reached out to Kelly Blue Book (KBB) to provide current used car prices.
KBB is an industry standard for reliable used car pricing. We chose to
price our cars as if they were in Very Good condition and if we were
buying from a private party. The prices when buying from a used car
dealer might be slightly higher. We reported the current used price for
the first year a vehicle was available, the used price for a 2017 model
of the vehicle or the last year it was available, and the new vehicle
price (MSRP from KBB) for the last year it was available, or for 2018 if
the vehicle is still available.

    We also included a few plug-in hybrids in our list. These vehicles
allow some electric-only range using a battery pack that is charged at
home and then resort to a gasoline engine to produce a longer range. Car
companies looked at plug-in hybrids as a way to address the “range
anxiety” that was present when EVs only had a range of 60-100 miles on a
charge.

    With prices that range from less than $5,000 to more than $60,000,
here are some used EVs to consider.

      [Photo: 2011 Chevrolet Volt (Image source: Chevrolet)]

Senior Editor Kevin Clemens has been writing about energy, automotive,
and transportation topics for more than 30 years. He has masters degrees
in Materials Engineering and Environmental Education and a doctorate
degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerodynamics. He has
set several world land speed records on electric motorcycles that he
built in his workshop.


---

Len Moskowitz
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