More and more Canadians are purchasing used electric vehicles because EVs are an excellent way to save money on fuel while driving without emissions. Furthermore, electric vehicles can be economical in the long run as they require less maintenance and have fewer chances of a breakdown with fewer complicated parts.
While purchasing any used vehicle in Canada can be very attractive nowadays, some Canadian car buyers still have doubts about the battery technology of used EVs. Is buying a used electric car a smart investment? Is driving a used EV safe? Can a used EV survive the harsh Canadian winters? In this blog, we will talk about everything you need to know when buying a used electric vehicle in Canada.
Is a used electric vehicle right for me?
For many car shoppers, purchasing used electric cars makes sense because of the lower operating costs and the long-term savings on gas. However, it can depend on your driving habits and your lifestyle. For example, if you buy an older model EV with a battery range of fewer than 150 kilometres and you have a long daily commute, then it might not be a good idea to purchase a used EV with a short battery range. However, some models of used EVs, like the Tesla Model S, can travel much further on a charge and would be more suitable for your everyday needs. Therefore, before purchasing an electric vehicle, it is critical to think about your needs in the battery range. Also, keep in mind that your driving habits could have an impact on the battery range. When shopping for a used electric car, remember to check the projected battery range and compare it when doing your EV test drive.
What are the pros and cons of buying a used electric vehicle?
The most significant advantage of purchasing a secondhand electric vehicle is the lower price tag. Because of the high initial depreciation, used electric vehicles have a high resale value. Used EVs, on the other hand, provide excellent value when compared to newly released models, owing to the EV industry’s ever-advancing technology. It depends on the make and model, but you can expect to pay 25 to 30 percent less for a used electric car in Ontario that is two to three years old.
Operating costs are low
Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, and battery EVs do not have sophisticated engines, so there is no need for oil changes, whether they are new or used. Not to mention the most obvious advantage of driving an electric car: you will be able to reduce your gas costs because energy is cheaper than gas regardless of where you plug in in Canada.
A more enjoyable driving experience
Electric vehicles provide a more enjoyable driving experience, with a smooth transmission and quick acceleration. Due to the absence of an internal combustion engine in an electric vehicle, the electric engine delivers smooth acceleration and deceleration. Driving an EV can be more comfortable and silent than driving a conventional fuel vehicle. Electric vehicles have a low centre of gravity, which helps with handling, reactivity, and ride comfort.
Greener and cleaner
Driving an electric vehicle reduces global warming emissions and your carbon footprint. Running an EV, whether new or secondhand, contributes to a greener environment. Buying a used electric car is even more environmentally friendly because you are recycling. While purchasing secondhand electric vehicles will benefit the environment, they can perform just as well as new ones. Because EVs have fewer moving parts, they can maintain their condition even after logging some miles. EVs should last far longer than gas-powered vehicles since they lack sophisticated engines and gearboxes.
Although buying a used EV might not be eligible for the full incentive offered by the government. It depends where you live, you can still benefit of some provincial rebates. For example, in Ontario, you can get $1,000 toward the purchase of a used fully electric automobile with a resale sticker price of less than $50,000 CDN.
EV batteries, like any other battery-powered gadget, degrade over time. The battery longevity of a used electric vehicle will determine how far you can travel. The more a battery declines, the less charge it can hold, and your battery range may suffer as a result. If you plan to buy a used electric car and maintain it for a long time, it will ultimately require a battery replacement, which you must consider. The good news is that many batteries and electric motors come with at least an 8-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty. Some even have an optional extended warranty. When purchasing a used EV, remember to verify the warranty and see if it is transferrable.
Infrastructure for charging your EV
In general, a used electric car’s battery range is smaller than that of a new one. If you are considering an earlier model, the range may be considerably shorter. As a result, installing a charger at home is the most convenient choice. A further investment in a charger at home might have to be considered.
If you intend to buy a used electric vehicle and use it for a few years, you may find that its technology quickly becomes obsolete. While technology obsolescence affects traditional fuel vehicles as well, the impacts are amplified for older electric vehicles because EV technology is continually evolving.
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Are used electric vehicles reliable?
EVs are generally very reliable. Electric vehicles are typically simpler as they have fewer moving parts than traditional cars powered by internal combustion engines. Battery technology has been around for more than a decade, and EV batteries have been shown to last a long time and be reliable. However, just like gas-powered cars can have difficulties, some EV models also have software and battery life issues.
For example, Teslas have a long history of software and battery life issues. Used EV buyers should keep in mind that any used car, whether driven by electricity or gasoline, might suffer from reliability concerns. Such as air conditioning systems breaking down, brakes and tires will need to be replaced at some point, sensors do not last indefinitely. Just because EVs do not use gasoline and have fewer moving parts does not mean they will never require maintenance.
According to the reports and news, here are some of the most reliable EV names:
Hyundai Kona Electric
Kia Niro EV
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model X
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model S
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. All-electric vehicles are generally as reliable as gasoline-powered vehicles. However, the models indicated above are widely acknowledged to be among the most dependable EVs on the market today.
What Is the Most Affordable Used Electric Vehicle in Canada?
Some used electric vehicles are less expensive than others. A used electric car’s price might vary depending on several aspects, including the type, model, year, condition, and mileage.
You might consider purchasing a used Nissan Leaf if you are looking to buy the most affordable used electric vehicle in Canada. Because of its dependability and price, the Nissan Leaf is frequently regarded as the best-value used EV to purchase. Nissan Leafs have been on the market for a long time. They are reliable EV suites for a small budget, but their restricted range and small size keep them from being very popular. The Volkswagen E-Golf and the Ford Focus EV, which are similarly priced, are other electric vehicles that are ideal for EV buyers on a tight budget.
Which used electric vehicles have the longest battery range?
If you are looking for a long battery range, we have just one name for you: Tesla. The Tesla Model 3, Model S, and Model X have a greater range than most other used electric vehicles. They are considerably more expensive than other electric vehicles, but for many EV buyers, the extra range and the cache of the Tesla name are well worth it.
The alternative is the Chevrolet Bolt EV, if you are looking for more than 200 kilometres of range but a used Tesla isn’t a viable option for you. The Chevrolet Bolt is a full-electric vehicle that was released in 2017, and the spacious hatchback has a driving range of approximately 380 kilometres.
What should I check when buying a used electric vehicle?
Just like when purchasing any secondhand car, it is critical to run a comprehensive check before making the purchase. Although a used electric vehicle can be slightly different as it’s powered by an electric motor, its other functions and features are the same as traditional cars, so they should be thoroughly inspected. Also, always take a test drive to ensure that its performance and battery range meet your expectations.
Suppose you’re not purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned electric vehicle and are looking at smaller used car dealerships or private parties. In that case, it’s recommended that you hire someone who has the expertise to check the used EV that you are purchasing. Here’s a checklist of the important things to check when purchasing a used electric vehicle:
- Battery Health: to have the batteries tested to ensure they are in good working order
- EV reviews: remember to do your homework to check the vehicles’ safety ratings prior to making a purchase.
- Tech features: remember to check if they are working properly and functional as advised
- Tires: are the tires in decent shape, or is a replacement required?
- Overall condition of the inside: Check if the gauges are operational and if the windows roll up and down and seal properly
- Vehicle’s vehicle history: examine the report clearly with no documented accidents or damage
- Maintenance and service records: request that the seller provide the vehicles’ maintenance records.
How can I tell if the batteries in a used electric car are in good condition?
It’s also critical to assess the condition of a used EV’s battery pack when buying a used EV in Canada.
If you are buying a CPO EV, the test will have already been completed and all you need to do is to request the results. If you buy a used car from a private party, it’s suggested that you hire an EV expert who can use a diagnostic tool to evaluate whether or not the electric car’s batteries are healthy.
However, you should bear in mind that battery performance does decline over time, although it is slow and should be minor. You can expect a 5-10% reduce in battery range if you buy a used electric car from the 3 to 5 year old. For example, if you are buying a 2017 model Nissan Leaf, if the car previously had a range of about 200 kilometres, it is likely that it currently has a range of about 180 km. If you buy an older model, such as a 2012 Nissan Leaf, the batteries may have lost roughly 25% of their performance. Thus, you should take any reduction in range into consideration when purchasing a used EV. This is especially important for Canadian drivers, as extreme cold or heat will also cause a loss in range for any electric vehicle.
Is there a warranty on used EVs?
In general, the batteries of any electric vehicle are covered by a warranty that is longer in duration than the warranty that covers the rest of the vehicle. Most battery packs have warranties of eight to ten years, or 160,000 to 20,000 km. Most of the warranties on used EVs are transferable, so always check the remaining warranty term on any vehicle. If the warranty has been voided for any reason, it’s better to walk away and look for another vehicle.
Are all used electric vehicles inexpensive to buy?
Most Canadian EV shoppers want the latest battery technology, which usually gives a better driving range. As a result, most electric vehicles depreciate faster than regular gas-powered cars. However, like with any used vehicle, pricing for used EVs fluctuates and is determined by multiple factors. While some used electric vehicles deteriorate in value more quickly than others, top to the line EV, such as the Tesla Model S, depreciate more slowly. This is due to increased demand for the high-end Tesla, which has a greater range and seating capacity than the smaller EVs like the Nissan Leaf, or other EVs that have shorter battery ranges.
The Tesla Model 3 is the brand’s most affordable model. It’s a great option for used EV purchasers, but Tesla didn’t really ramp up Model 3 sales until 2018, so there aren’t as many used Tesla Model 3s available. Used Tesla Model 3 prices remain high in the used car marketplace.
Where Can I Find a Reliable Used Electric Vehicle?
Searching for a decent used electric car is similar to shopping for any used car. They are available from new car dealerships, Certified Pre-Owned dealers, or private parties.
Certified Pre-Owned dealers will always have the most recent inventory on their websites, and all vehicles are thoroughly examined before being presented. Usually, they offer used electric vehicles with lower mileage that have a clean vehicle history report.
Websites such as Kijiji and eBay can be used to search the listings of used car dealers and private parties. However, do not provide anyone with your personal information until you have purchased the automobile and signed the paperwork.
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