Used car: is it worth buying a used electric car?

Is it worth buying a used electric car? UPSA experts have the answer.

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used carIs it worth buying a used electric car?

New electric cars are expensive, which is why many Swiss are considering buying a used model. UPSA tells you what to consider.

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UPSA team of experts

Question from a “20 minute” reader

Power outage or not, I want to buy an electric car. Except the new electric cars are way too expensive for me. I just found a used electric car within my budget that has 50,000 miles on the odometer. Can you buy it without any problems and what should you pay attention to?

Response from UPSA Expert Team*

As with a high mileage combustion vehicle, a used electric car with many miles on the clock is more likely to break down soon. But car manufacturers often give long warranty periods of around eight years and 150,000 kilometers on expensive batteries. So even with an 80,000 kilometer electric car, you can drive a few tens of thousands of kilometers without worry.

Like smartphone or laptop batteries, lithium-ion batteries in electric cars lose capacity over time. The drive batteries have quite large reserves, so that in practice the autonomy only suffers a minimal loss in the first few years. Over time, however, the loss of battery capacity becomes noticeable. As a used electric car buyer, you should therefore pay particular attention to the date of first registration as well as a possible reduction in the scope of the warranty after the first change of ownership.

Particular attention should be paid to the date of first registration, as well as a possible reduction in the scope of the guarantee following a first change of owner.

UPSA team of experts

The ideal is to ask the seller to prove the “state of health” of the battery (Health condition, SOH), to avoid unpleasant surprises and not suffer a massive loss of autonomy in relation to the manufacturer’s values. The condition of a drive battery is typically checked as part of regular maintenance and checks of an electric car in a garage. In addition to the maintenance booklet, these control reports can provide good information about the battery status of an electrical occasion. Today, there are also multi-brand offerings from diagnostic specialists.

Note: An electrical occasion that has been waiting for its buyer for some time may eventually experience a full battery discharge, which would be critical. It is therefore imperative to know, or even ensure in writing, that the battery has not been fully discharged or that it has been regularly recharged. Positive for you: Because electric motors are significantly simpler to build than combustion engines, they contain relatively fewer parts. Because of this, they are usually very durable. So you don’t have to worry about the life of the electric motor.

As electric motors are significantly simpler to build than combustion engines, they contain relatively fewer parts. Because of this, they are usually very durable.

UPSA team of experts

Even if the price of a used electric car is more suited to your budget, despite the general increase in second-hand prices, you should also know that range and batteries have seen marked improvements in recent years. cars fell. That’s why, despite often quite long wait times for new cars, perhaps you should ask yourself if it’s really worth buying a used electric with “old” battery technology. for electric cars.

Email your questions to autortgeber@20minuten.ch. The most interesting current questions, as well as their answers, will be published each week in the “20 Minutes” Lifestyle section.

*The Swiss Professional Automobile Union (UPSA) is the association of Swiss mechanics. 4,000 companies employing 39,000 people (including 9,000 young people in initial and continuing education) ensure that we move safely, reliably and energy-efficiently. The UPSA legal department and UPSA team of experts, including Markus Aegerter (trade and services), Olivier Maeder (training) and Markus Peter (technical and environment), ensure that everything is clear.

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