Best used electric cars to buy

Fiat 500e

 

Buying an used electric car is the most affordable and rational way to start driving an EV.

 

Going to the supermarket with an empty stomach is never a good idea, the same principle applies when searching for an electric car to buy, let me explain why…

If you’re EV hungry and really want to start driving an electric car more than anything else, in most occasions you would do better if you satiate your EV hunger with an used and cheap electric car, while waiting for the “perfect” electric car to be available. Otherwise you might buy an overpriced electric car and then regret it when better and cheaper alternatives start to appear.

 

In 2020, because of tougher vehicle emission standards, electric cars will start to become mainstream. They’ll be cheaper and have less compromises (better range and charging time).

Imagine a Renault Zoe or a Nissan Micra EV with a realistic 400 km range, 60 kWh battery and 150 kW DC fast charging available in 2020 for less than 20.000 €, it would be nice, wouldn’t it? A car like this would be almost “perfect” for most of us. However, since we live in the present, it’s much more comfortable to wait for our “perfect” electric car if we’re already satiated driving one EV, even if it’s far from “perfect”.

 

In my opinion a good used electric car to get while waiting for the “perfect” one, should fulfill some important requirements:

  • Best value for the money

This is essential to prevent buyer’s remorse.

  • Reliable

You don’t want to have any problems during the wait, especially with the battery.

  • Useful as a second car when your “perfect” car arrives

Two different sized cars in the same household can complement each other very well.

 

Since electric car’s availability differs from country to country, I’ll make my recommendations for two different regions.

 

North America (Canada, USA and Mexico)

 

2016 Fiat 500e

 

I can’t think of a better used electric car to get now than a Fiat 500e. Let’s see why.

  • Super cheap
  • Very useful 6,6 kW internal charger
  • Solid 24 kWh liquid heated and cooled battery made with NMC Samsung SDI cells
  • Small and perfect for city driving, great as a second car
  • Fun to drive with a very responsive motor
  • Cute and iconic look, can become an electric classic car

 

Here are some examples of what you can find on eBay.

2014 Fiat 500e Base 2dr Hatchback 2014 FIAT 500e, Silver with 39663 Miles available now!

$8,490.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-26-2017 12:39:00 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8,490.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Fiat 500e Base 2dr Hatchback 2014 FIAT 500e, Black with 18130 Miles available now!

$9,190.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-26-2017 12:39:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9,190.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Fiat 500e Base 2dr Hatchback 2014 FIAT 500e, Orange with 27431 Miles available now!

$8,790.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-26-2017 12:39:10 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8,790.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2015 Fiat 500e Base 2dr Hatchback 2015 FIAT 500e, Black with 36454 Miles available now!

$9,250.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-26-2017 12:39:10 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9,250.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Fiat 500 E Hatchback 2-Door 2014 Fiat 500E EV Fully Loaded Navigation Silver on White Beautiful Car

$7,850.00
End Date: Wednesday Sep-27-2017 11:33:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7,850.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2014 Fiat 500 E Hatchback 2-Door 2014 Fiat 500E EV Fully Loaded Navigation Silver on Black Beautiful Car

$6,750.00
End Date: Wednesday Sep-27-2017 12:16:29 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6,750.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2013 Fiat 500 E Hatchback 2-Door 2013 Fiat 500 E Hatchback 2-Door EL

$8,855.00
End Date: Sunday Oct-1-2017 10:11:04 PDT
Add to watch list

2014 Fiat 500e 2dr HB BATTERY ELECTRIC 2014 Fiat 500e 2dr HB BATTERY ELECTRIC 9801 Miles Orange Coupe A

$8,999.00
End Date: Sunday Oct-8-2017 5:02:20 PDT
Add to watch list

2015 Fiat 500 E Hatchback 2-Door 2015 Fiat 500E EV Fully Loaded Navigation Orange on White Beauty

$8,995.00
End Date: Monday Oct-9-2017 15:44:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8,995.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

 

You might also want to check AutoTrader before deciding to buy.

 

The Fiat 500e is definitely the electric car I would get if I was living anywhere near Oregon and California. For safety and battery durability reasons I would try to get one in white, but wouldn’t mind to have one in orange, it looks super cool.

 

 

Europe

 

In Europe I haven’t so many certainties in which used electric car to recommend. While the triplets (Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero) were the obvious choice years ago, today I wouldn’t recommend them, especially because they were almost forgotten by their makers and if you need a battery replacement you’ll have a very bad surprise. They cost almost as much as a new car.

If you want ease of mind and affordable price, an used Renault Zoe R240 is hard to beat. Even better choice is the Renault Zoe R90 with the new ZE 40 battery – if you can wait a little longer until used units start to appear on sale.

 

Renault Zoe in white

 

I don’t recommend the Renault Zoe Q210 nor the Renault Zoe Q90 since the charging system is less reliable and efficient. Another reason is that the 43 kW fast charging is mostly a marketing figure, since you hardly get more than 30 kW charge rate for most of the time – not much better than the 22 kW available in the more reliable, cheaper and efficient R240 and R90 versions. Equipment wise the middle Intens trim level offers the best value for the money.

The battery leasing is an annoyance but it makes this electric car more affordable to buy and future proof by simplifying the battery’s upgrade process.

 

You can find an used Renault Zoe on autoscout24 at great prices. If you live in the UK, you might get a better deal at AutoTrader or eBay, see some examples below.

 

Renault Zoe E ( 88bhp ) Auto 2013MY Dynamique Intens

£5,790.00
End Date: Friday Sep-22-2017 10:49:07 BST
Add to watch list

Renault Zoe E Auto Dynamique Nav - fully electric - no more fuel or road tax!

£7,499.00
End Date: Friday Sep-22-2017 13:48:00 BST
Add to watch list

2015 / 15 Renault Zoe E ( 88bhp ) Auto 2013MY Dynamique Intens

£5,495.00
End Date: Friday Sep-22-2017 18:09:03 BST
Add to watch list

2015 / 15 Renault Zoe E ( 88bhp ) Auto 2013MY Dynamique Intens

£5,350.00
End Date: Friday Sep-22-2017 20:21:16 BST
Add to watch list

2014 / 14 Renault Zoe E ( 88bhp ) Auto 2013MY Dynamique Intens

£4,695.00
End Date: Friday Sep-22-2017 20:41:45 BST
Add to watch list

2015 Renault Zoe I-Dynamique Intens 5Dr Auto Electric Hatchback

£6,295.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 1:22:10 BST
Add to watch list

2017 Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav Quick Charge 5Dr Auto Electric Hatchback

£12,999.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 10:08:03 BST
Add to watch list

RENAULT ZOE DYNAMIQUE NAV 5DR AUTO - DEMO - GLACIER WHI

£11,995.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 19:04:27 BST
Add to watch list

RENAULT ZOE EXPRESSION AUTO ELECTRIC CAR 4,100.00

£4,100.00
End Date: Sunday Sep-24-2017 9:53:25 BST
Add to watch list

2015 RENAULT ZOE Dynamique Intens 5dr Auto

£5,790.00
End Date: Sunday Sep-24-2017 13:13:46 BST
Add to watch list

 

 

How about you? Which used electric cars would you recommend for someone to get while waiting for the “perfect” one?

Pedro Lima

More than natural resources, are wasted human resources that bothers me the most. That's why I'm a strong advocate of a society based on cooperation, not competition, that helps every individual to reach his full potential so that he can contribute back to society. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

You may also like...

22 Responses

  1. billysielu says:

    In the UK there’s only really the LEAF, presuming you don’t want a battery lease, and they’re about $10k-15k USD. Not very appealing even for the convinced.

    • Buzzar says:

      In the UK you also have the Zoe-i with battery included. I purchased an 4 month old ex-demo with 15 miles, yes 15 miles on the odometer in May 2016 for £10,250 less that half the price of when new!

      Just completed 5k miles in her with NO battery lease to pay and it is so nice to know that I own the whole car

      • Pedro Lima says:

        That was a really great deal.

      • billysielu says:

        I can’t find a single Zoe-i for sale in the UK, but there are hundreds of LEAFs.

        • Buzzar says:

          I found one no problem in-fact Renault Northampton had 6 in at the time.

          First port of call is here http://www.autotrader.co.uk/used-cars
          presently there are a few of the longer range 41kWh Zoe’s available with battery lease starting at £11900.
          I’m just waiting for a 41kWh Zoe-i to come along as I could do with one of those as well.

          Would not touch a Leaf as it is ugly as sin and what a stupid name and not got our required driving range anyways.

  2. Jonas Jovial says:

    I totally disagree with the best choice for Europe. The Zoe is not a god choice, because:

    1st – It’s hard to find an used zoe without a battery renting associated. Even if you buy the battery to end the renting, you will find yourself paying much more that the real value of the battery.

    2nd – The Zoe is know to have issues with some chargers (refusing to charge at all). Also the charging efficiency is not that great and it requires a 3 phase installation to have a good efficiency. Not everybody has a 3 phase installation or can have it.

    3rd – There are also some known issues with the breaks and in some countries (like Portugal), the Renault dealer just does not car about that. Also, the support is very weak.

    To me, the best used car for Europe at the moment is the Leaf mk2 model, with Acenta equipment and 24kWh battery.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      1. While I dislike to rent the battery for ever, I think that for the moment it’s the best thing to do. Then in one or two years negotiate with Renault/RCI to buy the battery – when it’s cheaper. Remember that the LG Chem battery cell factory in Poland is opening later this year and will drop the prices for the battery drastically.

      2. You don’t need a 3 phase installation to have good charging efficiency, 32 A at 1-phase (7,4 kW) is enough, please check this article for figures: http://pushevs.com/2016/12/17/renault-zoe-charging-time-efficiency/

      3. I’m not aware of those brake issues, aren’t they isolated cases?! I do agree that until recently Renault didn’t make much effort to sell or support their EVs. However I think they are improving.

      The main reason why I wouldn’t recommend the Nissan Leaf it’s its battery. Not being possible to upgrade a battery that already has low capacity when new and has no TMS to reduce future degradation is one thing to avoid.

      Also a smaller used electric car now can complement a future one that it’s bigger. For example a Renault Zoe now and a second generation Nissan Leaf later. If you get a Leaf now, doesn’t make any sense to keep it if you buy a second generation one later. You’ll probably sell it for peanuts and lose a lot of money with its devaluation.

      Definitely the best used electric car differs from person to person.

      • Jonas Jovial says:

        Hi, Pedro:

        2 – Even one phase and 32A requires a total hired power of more of 30A (or superior to the 6.9kVA standard), because you have to account for the other stuff at home.

        3 – As for the brakes failure, there are several cases reported. Here you can see the story with one and links to others: http://prius-pt.com/cafe/forums/p/5125/75828.aspx#75828

        The story is long, but well detailed. Here you can see how Renault Portugal is simple ignoring their clients and doesn’t care a single thing….

    • Buzzar says:

      I have owned 3 Zoe’s since 2013 and not 1 of them have had brake problems so where is your “Knowledge” coming from?

      Zoe does NOT require a 3 phase installation just a standard domestic 16amp or 32amp home charger pod.

      Some early Zoe’s were very temperamental with charge point with regards to earthing impedance but this was rectified with software upgrades.

      To me the Leaf is but ugly and is not as good a drive compared to a Zoe and Jonas I have driven them both and few other BEV’s.

      Jonas before speaking false news please, please do your home work 😉

      • Jonas Jovial says:

        Maybe it should be you that should make your homework.. I already point out a case. If you don’t want to have the work to simple google for more, i’m not going to do it for you..

        In order the charge be efficient, you need to have a at least 30A dedicated only to the Zoe or a three phase installation..

        There are still several problems with some chargers, were other cars charge well.. Also the lack of a real fast charge solution does not go well with long travels.

        As for which one is better, Zoe or Leaf..well.. the inside quality says it all…

        • Buzzar says:

          ?? I travel across the UK and use the Ecotricity rapid chargers network and Zoe is charged to 80% in 25 minutes, have a coffee and I go for another 100miles and visit daughter 250 miles away within the day. I plug Zoe to my 32amp Rolec home charger and Zoe is good to go in 4 -5 hours from empty now Jonas have you ever been in a EV?

          Maybe you say something about bad wiring in Portugal and yes when we have stayed in that beautiful country the wiring can be a bit flakey and here in northern Europe we have the best wiring and all new houses are built with BEV wiring ready to go 🙂

  3. Michael Roberts says:

    Best choice at the moment in the UK is to lease for a couple of years on a Nissan LEAF. No battery rental. No need to worry about battery degradation as lease is only a couple of years. Very good reliabilty record. Monthly cost of less than £200 (new), or around £100 second hand, and you hand it back in a couple of years just when the really tasty stuff is coming to market. Anyone switching to one of these from a fossil car would probably be break even on fuel and associated extra costs of running a petrol/diesel.

    • Buzzar says:

      Leaf, no butt ugly and the stupid foot-hand brake is awful plus rear visibility is hindered by the massive C pillars. Zoe is prettier, more entertaining to drive and has a longer range, London to Manchester being some 190 miles no problem now with a Zoe ZE40

  4. Buzzar says:

    Best ever EV drive that I’ve had has to be the Tesla Model S on a test drive though Birmingham and then worst Renault Twizy during the Renault ZE presentation October 2012 not suited to northern Europe whether and highways but Tesla was £70K and the Twizy £4-5K 🙁

  5. lo says:

    Hi!
    In my opinion the smart ed is a good choice:

    – you can get 11 kW (22 kW in Brabus) AC-Charging
    – Thermal Management ( real 100 km in Winter)
    – Battery lease OR buy

    Checking mobile.de I found a lot of e-up! for around 13k€ with CCS enabled. How about that?

    Hint to german buyers: electric FIAT 500 in Germany ARE NOT 500e – they are “karabag” from hamburg. Nice cars, but not as goog as the real 500e

  6. The trouble with the Fiat 500e in most of the US is that, as far as I know, it’s not universally supported outside the handful ZEV states where it’s sold new. As an Arizona resident, I can travel the 350 miles or so to southern California to purchase used off-lease examples of any number of EVs sold there. Unfortunately, local dealers in Arizona won’t touch most of those brands if something needs factory service under warranty, unless the vehicle is also sold new here.

    Hence, Arizona consumers do purchase used California EVs and bring them back home, since there’s so many to chose from and they’re so plentiful there (competitive market and resulting low prices.) But, for now, it’s almost exclusively used Nissan Leafs or, in rarer circumstances, the BMW 13 and (my case) the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

    When I purchased my used i-MiEV online from a California dealer in late 2015, the only place I knew I could get factory service in Arizona was in the Phoenix metro area, about 100 miles away from my Tucson home. But I was willing to make that drive, if needed, as it was still a lot closer than Los Angeles. If it was something that might require towing, rates would still be far more reasonable that having to haul the car back and forth from southern California . . . and, if I wanted to drive it back home, there isn’t much in the way charging options to take advantage of on those long stretches of rural desert road heading east or west.

    Since then, a Mitsubishi franchise has been established in Tucson but, at first, they didn’t have permission to service the i-MiEV. Several months after that, though, they got their factory EV service certification (in anticipation of the terminally-delayed US launch of the Outlander PHEV, I suppose.) So, when I did need a faulty airbag sensor replaced for free this past summer, I only had to travel about a mile or so to get the work done.

    But a used Fiat 500e or a used Kia Soul EV? Generally, still a risky purchase outside of California, if somethings goes wrong.

  7. marjorie says:

    I have a good deal on a fiat 500e but I am in Georgia and am weighing the risks oh buying and hoping nothing goes wrong b4 fiat here starts selling them

  8. Mark says:

    I got a used 2014 fiat 500e in Texas with 15k miles. After driving golf cart battery ICE conversions for a couple decades I gave up for a while and went straight bicycle commuting since my last EV truck would not have made my commute when they changed my work location.
    A few years later my work has a charger, I can’t ride a bike anymore and now I have an EV which is the fastest, funniest and smoothest car I’ve EVer owned and while I don’t need the charger at work I do plug in and gladly pay the 60cents an hour for a couple hours in the AM.

    • Mark says:

      *funnest. Although some people around here with all the jacked up trucks and emission delete everything’s might call it funniest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger