Be aware, however, that while many of the latest models now boast operating ranges in excess of 200 miles, three-to-five-year-old used electric cars typically run for far fewer miles on a charge. The models featured here will run from 76 to 106 miles with a full charge. Though that wouldn’t suffice for cross-country road trips, it’s still enough for most daily commutes. Even the shortest-range used models can prove to be an economical means to get to and from a commuter rail station, or for running errands around town. In addition, note that not all used electric cars support Level 3 charging, with fast charging capability optional on some models. Be sure to check the charge port to see if it can accommodate a DC Fast Charging plug.
We’re including information on each recommended used electric car’s range and energy efficiency, as well as estimated values for each model year. These figures come from Kelley Blue Book and represent what a dealer would ask for a base model with average miles and in good condition or better (the actual out-the-door transaction price can usually be negotiated lower). We chose the San Francisco market as a reference because of its higher-than-average percentage of electric car ownership. As with all other types of used cars, prices will vary from one area to another based on local supply and demand. Check online sources for local pricing and availability.
And as with any type of vehicle, be sure to give a used electric car a thorough test drive to ensure it’s to your liking and that all accessories are in working order. Be sure to check the vehicle’s state-of-charge indicator before you hit the road to see how many miles the battery can still support on a full charge. Shorter-range EVs that have been subjected to aggressive charge and discharge cycles tend to be more prone to degradation than longer-range models that rarely come close to being fully discharged. On the plus side, EV batteries are covered under warranty for at least 8 years/100,000 miles and that transfers automatically to a subsequent owner.