Want An Electric Car, But Think You Can’t Afford One? Here’s How to Buy Second-hand


Many Australians say they’d take into account shopping for an electrical automotive. However sadly, new electrical autos don’t come low cost.

Even on the extra inexpensive finish of the market, a brand new Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Ioniq value round A$50,000. The popular Tesla Model 3 would set you again A$66,000.

However there’s an alternative choice: purchase second-hand. A used electrical car could be yours for below A$20,000. Nevertheless provide is proscribed and, like with any main buy, there are pitfalls to observe for.

I’m an power client advocate, researcher and electrical car proprietor, and have helped family and friends purchase their electrical automobiles. So let’s check out the place to search out second-hand electrical automobiles in Australia, and what to consider earlier than handing over your money.

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Second-hand electrical autos are a less expensive possibility than shopping for new. Photograph of Tesla car by Dylan Scarsone Apexpixel.

The place to search out one?

The availability of used electrical autos in Australia is proscribed. Numbers are clearly tied to new autos bought, and the speed at which they find yourself within the used automotive market.

In 2019, 6,718 absolutely electrical and plug-in hybrid electrical automobiles have been bought in Australia – triple the earlier 12 months, however nonetheless a comparatively small quantity. And the younger age of Australia’s electrical car fleet means there hasn’t been a lot turnover into the used market.

Used electrical autos are usually present in the identical locations you’d discover different second-hand automobiles. These embrace automotive dealerships and personal sellers.

On the time of writing, about 120 used electrical autos have been for marketed on Carsales – the cheapest was a 2013 Nissan Leaf in Victoria for A$11,500. Websites comparable to Autotrader and Gumtree additionally promote them – nonetheless electrical autos are a tiny proportion of total listings.

Tesla, by far the preferred electrical car producer in Australia, presents second-hand automobiles on its website, however presently none can be found.

Former authorities electrical autos can seem on the market on public sale websites comparable to Pickles or Manheim.

In recent times, specialist electrical car importers have emerged in Australia. These embrace Good Car Company, which has introduced in about 50 second-hand autos so far, largely from Japan. They promote for as low as A$19,000.

The next graph offers a breakdown of second-hand electrical autos accessible in Australia in August this 12 months. Costs vary from A$19,000 for a first-generation Nissan Leaf to A$180,000 for a Tesla Mannequin X.

Breakdown of obtainable second-hand EVs by model and value (Mov3ment Consulting, offered Aug 2020)

Patrons’ information

Naturally, anybody shopping for a second-hand electrical automotive needs to know they’re getting deal, and the car is dependable.

It’s best to verify the same old issues comparable to mileage, physique situation, upkeep data, security rankings and tyre situation. You also needs to take into account different issues particular to electrical autos:

1. Battery well being

Over time, batteries in electrical autos lose “vary” – the space they will drive on a single cost. The speed of loss can rely how and the place the car is pushed. Batteries sometimes reply poorly to extremes – warmth, chilly, or different harsh driving or charging behaviours. So the situation of your battery must be prime of thoughts when shopping for and sustaining an electrical car.

Many second-hand electrical automobiles include a battery diagnostic report from the vendor. In the event that they don’t, you may request this check or verify the automotive’s onboard pc. Ideally, the battery must be at 80% or greater than its unique rated capability.

2. Guarantee and servicing

Warranties are a giant consideration when shopping for any automotive. For electrical autos, the battery and car have separate warranties, and most supply better protection for the battery than the automotive. An eight-year guarantee on a brand new automotive battery, which passes to successive homeowners, is commonplace. Good Automobile Firm presents a two-year guarantee on the battery of its imports.

The excellent news is electrical autos have few shifting components, and require much less servicing than typical automobiles. Specialist servicing firms comparable to EVolution assist the budding second-hand market. Nonetheless, it’s a good suggestion to verify the phrases of a automotive’s guarantee, and the way it may be serviced domestically.

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3. Charging wants

Electrical car charging is completed at residence or at public or personal charging factors.

Most used electrical autos in Australia will likely be suitable with freeway chargers, however early fashions and imports might require an adapter. Be sure you verify your automotive’s plug kind, and when charging exterior of your own home, use an app like Plugshare or Nextcharge to make sure the charging station works on your automotive.

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House charging could be achieved by way of a traditional home electrical energy provide. However putting in a devoted electrical car charger at house is the most secure and best possibility.

An electrical future

Sadly, Australia lacks the robust insurance policies required to stimulate new electrical car gross sales, which might move on to the second-hand market.

For instance, in contrast to most of our worldwide friends, Australia has not imposed gasoline effectivity requirements to discourage using polluting automobiles. It has additionally didn’t comply with the lead of countries comparable to the UK and France, which have set a goal date for banning gross sales of latest petrol and diesel automobiles.

If all ranges of presidency in Australia transitioned their autos to an electrical fleet, this would supply a daily inflow into the used automotive market because the fleets are up to date.

In New Zealand, electrical car registrations have steadily elevated since 2016 when focused policy was introduced. As of this month, 63% of electrical autos sold in New Zealand have been second-hand.

Electrical autos are inexpensive to run, simple to keep up and good for the planet. Now we have to guarantee as many Australian motorists as attainable can go electrical – and the second-hand market is essential.

This text is republished from The Conversation below a Artistic Commons license. Writer: Alina Dini, Business Fellow on the Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology.

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Cowl picture of Nissan Leaf by way of Nissan.

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