Is a Used Electric Vehicle a Bargain or a Trap?

You’ve probably heard the horror stories of crazy-high battery replacement costs for electric cars. Fears of battery failure, limited range and high purchase prices might make you wonder if buying a used EV is a smart decision.

This answer is, it depends — it depends on the condition of the EV you choose and how much you pay for it.

If you can find an older EV with a battery in good shape, it could be a bargain, says Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights for auto site But if you buy an EV that is being flipped at a premium that doesn’t qualify for a tax credit, it could be a trap.

While used EVs cost more than gas-powered internal combustion engine, or ICE, cars — with the average transaction price at about $41,000 — you have to look at the total cost of ownership, says Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for Autonomy, an EV subscription service. For example, he says driving an EV could save as much as $5,000 in gas costs in one year.

Buying an EV is different in many…

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This article was written by Philip Reed and originally published on