Buying a used electric car: good plan or not?

Now that electric cars are hitting the used market, is it a good idea to invest in a second-hand zero-emission model?

The electric car is finally becoming more democratic. Since 2020, manufacturers have launched plug-in models of all sizes and prices on the market. Having become very efficient, comfortable and much better in terms of maximum autonomy and versatility of use, these electric vehicles will gradually replace their equivalents with conventional heat engines. And since the first models of this type were launched a decade ago (Renault Zoé, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn, Tesla Model S, etc.), the second-hand market begins to fill with electric vehicles. The opportunity to make a good deal?

Reliability, an advantage of the electric vehicle?

It all obviously depends on the long-term reliability of these electric models. The used vehicle fleet in France still only accounts for a quarter of the total sales of electric models, which remains insufficient to measure this long-term reliability with the same precision as conventional vehicles powered by fossil fuels. But, for the moment, the feedback on these used electric vehicles is excellent: the biggest advantage over time is obviously in terms of the maintenance budget, which is much lower than that of conventional vehicles. Without wearing parts and regular maintenance points (oil changes, belts to be changed, fluids to be checked, etc.), electric vehicle powertrains make it possible to minimize operating costs in the long term. The very special operation of these electric vehicles, often equipped with braking energy recovery systems, also saves the brakes and therefore means changing them less frequently.

Used electric car, battery powered: the surveillance point!

The only point to be monitored on these electric models is the battery: an electric motor vehicle requires batteries of a certain size (between 20 and 100 kWh) to guarantee sufficient autonomy. In newer models, the size of this battery also tends to increase (which makes it possible to travel greater distances). These batteries are generally warranted for eight years. The latest studies on the subject show that electric car batteries generally maintain excellent performance even after many years (at least 70% of the initial range). The numbers reported by Tesla last year are really impressive: after 300,000 kilometers, the batteries of the models marketed by the American manufacturer lose only 10% of efficiency on average! Note that you can check state of charge of a used vehicle at the time of purchase, but that only a visit to a garage of the brand will allow you to know precisely the state of health of the batteries. In practice, even older electric vehicles equipped with small batteries (the first Renault Zoé or the Peugeot iOn, Citroën C-Zero and other Mitsubishi i-Miev) retain a hundred kilometers of range when purchased second-hand. .

Used Electric Vehicle Rating: Excellent Residual Value

And the value of these electric vehicles in the second-hand market? Well, there too, they seem to have the odds. It is true that large purchase bonuses (currently €7,000) have an immediate impact on the value of the vehicle at the first second-hand resale. But in addition to this drop in value linked to the bonus deduction, the rating of an electric vehicle then seems to withstand the test of years and kilometers traveled better than a conventional vehicle. Whether they are classic references like the Renault Zoé or the Nissan Leaf, they maintain their value in the second-hand market better than equivalent models with gasoline or diesel engines. The sale price of these used electric vehicles also remains higher, but it can be reduced in two ways: firstly, the purchase of a used electric vehicle entitles you to a purchase aid of €1000. In addition, it is possible to claim the conversion premium if this electric vehicle replaces a diesel vehicle prior to January 1, 2011 (or a gasoline vehicle prior to January 1, 2006). In this case, the conversion premium amounts to €2,500. If you travel more than 12,000 km per year for professional reasons (or more than 30 km to get to your place of work), or if your tax reference income per unit is less than €6,300, this premium increases to €5,000. (until June 1, 2021).

The biggest advantage remains the price of energy

In use, the biggest advantages of these electric vehicles are obviously the price associated with low maintenance and ease of charging. At home, remember that a full supply of electricity (from a reinforced socket or wall terminal) costs less than €10 for a vehicle equipped with generously sized batteries. That’s five times less than a full tank of gasoline in a small city car with a heat engine. That’s why the higher purchase price, especially for big wheels, shouldn’t scare off used electric vehicle buyers. Studies on the subject, in particular those carried out by EDF with users, show more fears about electric vehicles than conventional vehicles in the context of buying a used vehicle. The studies also show that it is necessary to improve the training of dealers and professional workshops, who are still not sufficiently familiarized with the management of electric vehicles and customer support, whether on the means of charging, the types of terminals to be installed at home or the proper electricity contracts! But all the current data gives reassurance about the risks associated with buying a used electric vehicle. With an affordable price and an honorable autonomy depending on the intended use, the used electric vehicle is a 100% relevant solution for low-income families!

Good to know: advance your electric car charging

Installing a charging station at home is an increasingly simplified process! This choice is strategic before choosing your electric vehicle, as it will allow you to control the cost of electricity consumption over several years. But before installation, you still need to think about all the elements, such as the choice of wall box, how much home installation costs, how much an electric recharge, but also which energy contract to meet your needs.

Curious? Learn more about the different charging technologies such as V2G, fast charging, but also about the public charging stations present throughout the national territory and in your region. Finally, to go by electric car, nothing better than a badge adapted for charging that will allow you to maximize your trips on long trips.

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