Author Topic: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations  (Read 2983 times)

spartanswami

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Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« on: September 01, 2016, 05:25:26 PM »
I'm looking to purchase a used electric/hybrid vehicle for local use (commute to work - 5 miles, shuttle kids, weekend grocery etc.). Looking to purchase a 3-4 year old, used vehicle, not more than $15K that I intend to purchase without financing.

What would you recommend? My preference is for an an all electric, but I'm also looking for something that will last me a long time (my current vehicle is over 17 years old), so open to other suggestions.


redbird

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 11:53:53 PM »
I've got a Prius (hybrid). I like it so far. I've only had it for a year (it's a 2010 model) and I have no idea what the longevity is going to be like for this. The gas savings compared to previous small cars I've had has been noticeable.

I'd like to get an all-electric car, but the reason I did not get one is I go on road trips frequently enough that, unless I had a Tesla, all-electric is unrealistic. The Nissan Leaf gets good reviews, but even the 2016 model only gets ~80 miles on a full charge. I also currently live in an apartment building and so charging one at home is impossible.

If you plan to mostly use it as a commuter vehicle, the Leaf might be good in your situation though.

mwulff

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 04:27:22 AM »
If you can pick up a nice 2013+ Nissan Leaf with the heatpump then you're set. They are pretty reliable and cheap to maintain and run.

Only thing is to make sure that you don't get one from a warm place (think Nevada). The battery doesn't stand up well in really warm climates.

If you'd like a hybrid get a real plugin-hybrid not the Prius thingy (unless it's a plugin variant). I have heard great things about the Chevrolet Volt.

If you have more money than common sense get a Tesla :)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2016, 05:26:08 AM »
Ford Focus Electric if you're just using it around town. You can get them for under $10k with under 30k miles, they have fantastic safety ratings unlike the Leaf, and the interiors are very nice.

mwulff

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2016, 09:24:20 AM »
Ford Focus Electric if you're just using it around town. You can get them for under $10k with under 30k miles, they have fantastic safety ratings unlike the Leaf, and the interiors are very nice.

While I like hatchbacks in general I would avoid the Focus electric. If I recall correctly it has no fast-charge mechanism. That might not be a problem around town, but it comes in handy every now and again.

My money is still on the Nissan, and it has better range as well.

ketchup

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 10:12:23 AM »
Only one I have experience with is my SIL's 2013 Prius c.  Good car, can get 60-70MPG in town if you drive it right (45-50MPG on the highway).

KCM5

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 10:52:08 AM »
If you want a car you don't have to worry about, just get a Prius. Great mileage, reliable. We have one. As our only car, it is fantastically reliable and we can go on road trips without figuring out the logistics of charging.

But if it's going to be a car that is just around town, I second the recommendation for a 2013+ Leaf.

gaja

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2016, 10:54:09 AM »
Ford Focus Electric if you're just using it around town. You can get them for under $10k with under 30k miles, they have fantastic safety ratings unlike the Leaf, and the interiors are very nice.

While I like hatchbacks in general I would avoid the Focus electric. If I recall correctly it has no fast-charge mechanism. That might not be a problem around town, but it comes in handy every now and again.

My money is still on the Nissan, and it has better range as well.

The lack of fast-charge option for the Ford Focus ensures that the market for resale is very small. Most people do not want a car that is so limited. I'm no fan of the Renault Zoe, but it can at least charge at 400V, so you don't have to wait more than an hour if you are in a rush. The Ford shares market space with the ancient EVs, like Buddy, Th!nk, Citroen Saxo Electric, REVA, etc. If you can find one with a decent battery, they are much cheaper than a Ford, and fills the same need.

The battery problems in warm areas was fixed around 2013. Older than that, I would consider it carefully before buying a leaf. But if you are aware of it and get the right price, a leaf with a rotten battery can work fine. We drove 2300 km in our leaf the summer of 2014: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/search?updated-min=2014-01-01T00:00:00%2B01:00&updated-max=2015-01-01T00:00:00%2B01:00&max-results=23

In Norway, the cheapest EVs with fastcharging option are the triplets: Citroen C-Zero, Mitsubishi i-Miev and Peugot Ion. They only fit four, not five, and have a shorter range than the leaf. But they handle well in city traffic, and I don't think I remember having heard anyone having problems with them. There are very few problems with any modern EVs, since the motors are so much simpler than the combustion engines. With a Prius, you get a double system, and twice as many potential problems.


ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 12:24:26 PM »
Ford Focus Electric if you're just using it around town. You can get them for under $10k with under 30k miles, they have fantastic safety ratings unlike the Leaf, and the interiors are very nice.

While I like hatchbacks in general I would avoid the Focus electric. If I recall correctly it has no fast-charge mechanism. That might not be a problem around town, but it comes in handy every now and again.

Right, but this won't be the OP's only car. The no-fast-charge issue is why I own a C-Max Energi, which I know is owned by several people on this forum.

spartanswami

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 02:08:13 PM »
Thanks for all the recommendations! This car will be replacement for the second car in our household while we continue to use a 2008 Sienna for long haul trips.

So the Ford is not out of the question, however I do like the reliability that I've had with the only two Toyota's that I've owned so far.  I live in NJ so will look locally for some of the used electrics/hybrids. The
1. Nissan Leaf
2. Prius (plug-in)
3. Ford Focus

Any pointers on critical elements I should check (or get a mechanic to) when buying used? Websites I should use for research?
* Battery capacity? etc?

mwulff

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 02:16:51 PM »
Any pointers on critical elements I should check (or get a mechanic to) when buying used? Websites I should use for research?
* Battery capacity? etc?

If you decide to go for a leaf I would recommend getting LeafSpy and a bluetooth dongle. Leafspy is an app for your phone that can talk to the car and determine the state of the battery and the condition. It can also do a ton of other stuff.

Also I would recommend joining a "Nissan Leaf" group on facebook. People there tend to know their stuff and can answer questions much better than we can. Our local danish facebook group is a treasure trove of information.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 04:01:15 PM »
All the cars should have an ODB code that the dealers can use to determine battery capacity.

I found Cars.com very useful for finding my car and for selling my previous one.

spartanswami

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2016, 04:13:29 PM »
Thanks for the tip about the Nissan Facebook group! Found out about the National Drive Electric Week (Sept 10-18) from there https://driveelectricweek.org/events.php and have registered for an event close to my place. Hopefully will get some more first hand knowledge to aid in my search.

gaja

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Re: Used electric/hybrid car recommendations
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2016, 10:42:08 AM »
I really don't get why you are considering the Ford. Based on your needs, you could use almost any type of EV. This is a list of cost in NOK per km range for used EVs in Norway. Of course, the prices could be completely different in the US, but I would be very surpriced if the Ford would be better value for money than the Leaf.

Some of the oldest and smallest cars require a lot of work, but the Citroen C-Zero and Mitsubishi i-Miev are decent cars with few problems. Also, speed charging options ensure that the second hand market is potentially larger.

450   Citroen Saxo
500   Buddy
500   Citroen C-Zero
500   Peugeot 106
531   Mitsubishi i-Miev
533   Peugot iOn
556   Th!nk
600   Reva
600   Tazzari Zero
600   Nissan Leaf 24 kWh
647   Renault Kangoo
650   Renault Twizy
676   Peupeot Partner
680   Nissan Leaf 30 kWh
708   Renault Zoe
801   BMWi3 94aH
824   Citroen Berlingo
882   Nissan e-NV200
929   Smart Fortwo ED
938   VW e-up!
1012   Tesla 85
1048   Kia Soul
1063   Ford Focus Electric
1105   BMW i3 60 Ah
1105   VW e-Golf
1174   Mercedes Benz B
1282   Tesla 60