The landscape of vehicle prices, whether electric or gas-powered, has undergone a dramatic surge. Significant vehicles now range between 40 and 50 thousand dollars, equating to hefty monthly payments that rival or surpass some people’s rent.
The Allure of Used Electric Vehicles
With the rising popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), the idea of buying a used one to save money becomes appealing. However, purchasing a used EV involves a crucial consideration that significantly impacts its value: the battery’s condition.
The battery dilemma
An article from MarketWatch emphasizes the pivotal role of a used EV’s battery health. Similar to the engine in a traditional car, the lithium-ion battery serves as the core driving component in an electric vehicle. However, over time, it loses its ability to charge fully, leading to a gradual decrease in the car’s range.
Degradation and its Impact
Battery degradation is a gradual process, akin to the diminishing capacity of cell phone batteries. As the battery’s charging capability diminishes, so does the car’s value. For instance, a car with a 250-mile range might swiftly drop to 160–170 miles, making it less practical for daily use.
Warranty and Its Limitations
While most EVs come with warranties for the battery, these warranties typically activate only when the battery capacity falls below 70%. This means that even with a significantly reduced battery capacity, the warranty might not cover the replacement cost.
The Costly Battery Conundrum
Replacing an EV battery can be exorbitantly expensive, reaching up to twenty thousand dollars or even more. Some electric vehicles face a scarcity of replacement batteries, leaving owners in a bind with no feasible replacements available.
Shopping Wisely for a Used EV
When considering a used EV, assessing the battery’s condition becomes paramount. Checking the range and consulting a local EV mechanic for an inspection can help gauge the vehicle’s reliability. A compromised range might defeat the purpose of buying a used EV, especially if it fails to meet daily travel needs.