Electric Cars

Five Best Used Electric Cars

February 4, 2021

Five Best Used Electric Cars

As we enter 2021, mass produced electric cars have been with us for a decade. That means there are a lot of good used EVs out there on the market. For our list of the best 5 used electric cars, we focused on vehicles that are both affordable and dependable every day drivers. You’ll notice that Tesla didn’t make our list. That’s because a used Tesla Model S still goes for 30K and up, and we want to narrow our picks on great used electric vehicles that you can own for under 15K.

To start with, used electric cars are a great deal because they tend to bring in lower than average resale values, due to a limited demand at present. But as interest in EVs continues to grow, expect future resale values to improve. Another plus is that electric cars require less maintenance than gas cars because they have fewer complex mechanical parts that can go bad, need repair or replacement. The EVs on our list are generally half the price or less of a new one. A new base model Nissan Leaf, for instance, will cost around $29,000 at a dealership, but a used Leaf can be found for $8,000 or less. Though they may be five or six years old, used EVs still offer good battery life since lithium-ion batteries are made to last 10 years and have a transferable warranty that is good for 8 years/100,000 miles.

One of the biggest things to look for when buying a used electric car, is the range between charges. New EVs today have ranges of over 200 miles, where older cars typically run far fewer miles on a charge. Also note that not all used electric cars support Level 3 charging. Be sure to check the charge port to see if it can accommodate a DC Fast Charging plug and also check the vehicle’s state-of-charge indicator to see how many miles it can still support on a full charge. As EV batteries get older, they generally hold less of a charge which will affect your driving range.

The used vehicles listed below are based on 2014 to 2017 models. If you’re looking to find a great used electric car, visit the marketplace to find one near you.

Affordable, Dependable Every Day Drivers

Nissan LEAF

Our number one choice for a used EV is the Nissan LEAF. The top selling hatchback has been around since 2011 so there are plenty of good used Leaf models out there across America. Estimated range was originally 84 miles on a charge. Look for a used Leaf that has the optional Level 3 charge port. The SV and SL versions for 2016 include a higher-capacity battery for a 107 mile range and 2018 models will get you 151 miles on a charge.

Used price range - $8,000 to $12,000

Ford Focus

Ford first released the Focus Electric in 2012 and the compact was available nationwide. You can find a good used Focus EV without spending a fortune but be aware that the earlier car’s range was estimated to be 76 miles on a charge. This improved with the 2017 model, which gets 115 miles and the added Level 3 charging capability. The Focus was discontinued in 2018.

Used price range - $8,000 to $11,000

Volkswagen e-Golf

As used EVs go, the e-Golf offers a truly great ride for the money. As you’d expect from VW, this hatchback is both roomy and quick! The nimble-footed e-Golf first appeared in 2015 but was limited to just 10 states. Early models could take you 83 miles on a charge and that increased to 125 miles in 2017. You’ll likely spend a bit more for a good used e-Golf than a Leaf or a Focus, but it’s worth every penny.

Used price range - $10,500 to $12,500

Kia Soul EV

Launched in 2014, the Kia Soul EV has plenty of room and a comfy interior for 5 as well as such creature comforts as a power driver’s seat, backup camera, navigation system and UVO infotainment system as standard. All used Soul EVs include a DC Fast Charging port and will take you 93 miles on a single charge. It must be said that it’s boxy styling isn’t for everyone but select models had a panoramic sunroof that’s pretty cool.

Used price range $11,000 to $15,000

BMW i3

This compact EV has great acceleration and classic BMW tight handling. The i3 debuted in 2014 and was available everywhere. First year models had a range of 81 miles which has since been increased to 113 miles. Level 3 charging was an option in 2014 and became standard in newer models. Check used models for such technology as driving assist, navigation and parking assist. A new i3 retails at $45,000 so a used one is quite a bargain at around $15,000.

Used price range – $14,500 to $19,000