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Best used EV for around town?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Vinc, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    Hi there! What EV do you guys think is the best value to get used as a low cost second car for city driving?

    Many seem to suggest a 2015 and later Leaf, but the known issues with the battery give me some pause...
     
  2. dkemme

    dkemme Supporting Member

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    1-2 year old LEAFs can be found for cheap, cruise craigslist for a private owner low mileage. You can plug into 110v, very easy to maintain. I know the batteries degrade but it will serve you well for 3-6 years.
     
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  3. seattlite2004

    seattlite2004 Member

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    Chevy Spark EV. Liquid cooled battery and can be had for under 9k.
     
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  4. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    I had a 2015 Leaf and now a 2018 Leaf (as well as a Model 3). Don't listen to the battery stories that you hear about on the Leaf. Just like all the negative stories on the Tesla, there is most sensationalism in the stories. After 3.5 years, I lost only about 3%. There's nothing wrong with batteries that aren't climate controlled. Nissan has made them to work quite well. Also, the Leaf doesn't waste energy cooling the batteries. Is it the best car for a cross-country trip? No, it isn't meant to be.

    Charge at home every night, one-way commutes of under 40 miles is exactly what the car was designed for. It's not, nor is it meant to be a Tesla competitor. It's job is for the masses. You can pick a new one for under $30k ($22.5k with tax credit) I think that I've even seen the $179 month leases appear again.

    In LA, you may be able to find used for near $10k. But, there aren't necessarily a lot, because Nissan ships then to the Netherlands where they buy up used ones quickly.
     
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  5. kablammyman

    kablammyman Member

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    if you can find one, a 2013 toyota rav4 EV
     
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  6. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

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    Get a lightly used LEAF. They are good cars (I had a 2013), and they depreciate faster than a used crossword puzzle.
     
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  7. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Another option is a used BMW i3. They depreciate like crazy and while it looks quirky it is super fun to drive.
     
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  8. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    If you just want to drive around town, the e-Golf is a very good car. We returned our leased e-Golf when we got our Model 3. I also have a RAV4 EV but would only recommend it if you need the cargo capacity. However, there's really nothing else like it short of a Model X. The e-Golf, Leaf, and i3 are all significantly more efficient than the RAV4 EV.
     
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  9. Evoforce

    Evoforce Member

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    #9 Evoforce, Jul 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    I currently own 2 Leafs. You haven't stated how many miles per day you usually drive. Do not get one if you are in a near hot/hot climate. The bad battery stories are real for those of us who have owned the cars for several years. Both of my cars have had battery replacements as well as everyone that I personally know that owned/owns a Leaf. Also the cost of battery replacement has risen to $8500 including installation labor.

    Better to find a car with liquid cooling if that is the case. Battery stories are real for those who have owned the cars for several years. Cheap better choices: Rav 4 EV, Chevy Spark EV, Fiat 500 EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, BMW i3, Ford Focus EV, Smart EV. I didn't mention the Kia Soul EV in that list because they have cabin air battery cooling and are now having many battery replacements in hot climates. Keep in mind that a few of those choices that I just mentioned have been discontinued. Also, I find it very helpful to have a car with Fast/quick DCDC charging especially as the car ages and has less range. Some of those that I mentioned do not have that option.
     
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  10. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    Thank you for the great feedback! We are currently leasing a BMW i3REX and a Fiat 500e. Our plan is to replace both with a single M3 (both leases will mature at the same time), but I want to keep an eye out for options in case we do need a second car.

    We love the i3. As Uncle Paul said, it is very fun, plus much roomier than one might expect. Unfortunately, despite crazy depreciation, prices seem to still be starting at around 18K, which might be a tad high.

    The 500e is unapologetically compliance, but not bad. But as Evoforce mentioned, it does not have fast charging. We would be using it for very short commutes, but it is certainly good to have fast charging as the battery ages.

    Regarding the Rav4 EV, I love the size and I know it can be found with aftermarket fast charging. My concern would be servicing it, since Toyota is done with the Tesla partnership. I used to have a Mazda Tribute Hybrid (Escape Hybrid rebadged) and it was a pain.

    Interesting to hear the range of opinions regarding the Leaf. And the Spark is a good suggestion. We almost went with one of those before finding an insane deal on the 500e.
     
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  11. Asymmetry

    Asymmetry Member

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    I dunno maybe base Tesla model3, I think there is a forum on those somewhere...
     
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  12. mattack4000

    mattack4000 Member

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    I sold my RAV4 EV recently, I sort of miss it as no other EV cars can hold so much outside of the Tesla. With all the EV cars in limbo at the moment, I might have just shafted myself out of a really good car.

    Still, the out of warranty cost on that car would be scary
     
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  13. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    #13 Vinc, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    Yes, the RAV4 EV looks like a fantastic option. They seem to be hitting the $15K mark now, which is not fully into the "why not give it a try" category, but kind of close. But you are right, the main concern is long term maintenance cost. Or even availability of parts, technicians, etc 4-5 years down the road.

    It will probably end up being a toss up between a Spark EV (reliability) and a Leaf (size), with the door open to any unexpected deals on an i3...
     
  14. mattack4000

    mattack4000 Member

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    I sold mine for 13500 with 76k miles
     
  15. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    Bummer, I missed out :)

    Did you have any issues of note while you owned it?
     
  16. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    If you're asking about the RAV4 EV, I've had mine for more than 5 years and I'm still enjoying it.

    These are the common problems with the RAV4 EV.
    - The drive unit gets noisy due to induced currents in the motor going through the bearings and pitting them. Tesla implemented a fix which Toyota finally approved in early 2016. Drive units replaced with refurbished ones rebuilt with the fix have not subsequently developed the noise. Some people had the drive unit swapped twice under warranty before the fix was implemented.
    - The Denso PTC cabin heater is prone to failure. This sometimes takes out a diode in the DC/DC converter leading to a very expensive repair if out of warranty. Cabin heater failure is so common that we always recommend testing the cabin heat before buying one of these cars used. Dealer price to replace the heater alone is about $2,000. This is the main reason I bought the 8yr/100k mi extended warranty.
    - The car has a relatively high dark load on the 12V system when parked. This is very stressful on the flooded lead acid battery Toyota uses. If you frequently leave the car parked for 3+ sequential days, the battery will need to be replaced every two years. The car makes no attempt to charge the 12V battery when parked, unlike Tesla vehicles. When you start the car with a dying 12V battery it will usually throw the dreaded "Check EV System" error on the dash and it sometimes requires a trip to the dealer to clear the DTCs, even after the battery is replaced.

    Those are the most common things. I had my drive unit replaced for the noise just before the 5 year/60k mile powertrain warranty expired. The Tesla on-board charger was replaced by the dealer before I bought it new. I installed a 60Ah AGM battery after the 3/36k bumper to bumper warranty expired. Other than that, the car has been great. The JdeMO aftermarket CHAdeMO makes the car a whole lot more useful for regional travel around the Bay Area or LA area. Driving between LA and SF is still painful but doable.
     
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  17. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the extremely detailed reply. It is of great help. I am going to add the RAV4 EV to the mix. I had read about the JdeMO upgrade, which makes the car much more appealing. Not planning on using it for long trips, but a couple of times I have found myself stranded at some random IKEA waiting for my 500e to charge. All the RAV4s I have seen appear to have substantially more miles than the average EV, which I guess is a good sign.

    If you plan on parting ways with your RAV4 in the next few months, let me know!
     
  18. Evoforce

    Evoforce Member

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    #18 Evoforce, Aug 1, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
    Bolt can also use Jdemo! 230 miles EPA. After tax breaks can be in high 20's. Still not on par with 3/S/X and charging infrastructure but maybe Electrify America will help a little.
     
  19. Vinc

    Vinc Member

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    Very correct, it has CCS and for all I have heard it is a fantastic car. But even used ones are still high 20s. I think it still needs a couple of years to qualify for the "low cost second EV" prize :)
     
  20. Evoforce

    Evoforce Member

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    Yea, my son owns one! He really likes it a lot. I figured that is how you were thinking and is why I didn't mention in the previous post. I convinced him to get the Jdemo and he is sure glad that he did.
     
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