Would you consider buying a second hand electric car not knowing what condition the battery is in?
According to a new survey, Britons are more willing to take that risk with a used electric car than they are with a second hand laptop or mobile phone.
Three quarters of us would consider a used electric vehicle, compared to just 63 per cent who would purchase a refurbished laptop and 45 per cent who’d have a hand-me-down smartphone, research shows.
Second hand electric car? A new study found that more Britons would be comfortable with the idea of a used battery-electric vehicle than a used laptop or phone
The research conducted by automotive retailer Peter Vardy is part of a wider study into Britons’ perception of owning a used electric car as more models enter the market.
Of 1,000 people surveyed, 76 per cent said they’d be comfortable purchasing an electric vehicle that had already been owned by someone else.
They’d be enticed by the environmental benefits and cheaper running costs of a zero-emissions model, the study found.
For the remaining 24 per cent who voted against the idea of buying a second hand electric car, the main stumbling blocks were the high price of vehicles – even on the used market – and concerns about the battery life after a previous owner has been driving and charging it for a sustained period.
Others noted that they’re not bowled over by the looks of electric cars in general, while some commented that they were concerned about the technology already being old or outdated.
Some manufacturers have gone to lengths to make the prospect of buying a second-hand vehicle less daunting.
Renault, for example, offers its electric cars – like the Zoe – separately from the battery.
A buyer can either purchase the vehicle and battery pack outright or pay for the vehicle and lease the battery with a monthly fee separately.
If the battery capacity deteriorates with time, it can then be replaced at no cost to the driver.
Three quarters of the panel said they’d buy a second-hand electric car, even if they didn’t know the condition of the battery after use by the first keeper
The Zoe also happens to be the fastest appreciating used car of the moment.
Analysis by valuations experts HPI found that 11 second-hand cars have increased in value in the last year, with the Zoe going up by 30 per cent.
Had you bought one of the small plug-in cars in July 2017 for £6,300 and spent the past year putting 12,000 miles on the clock, it would be worth £1,900 more on average today, according to the research.
The report comes after it was revealed that the VW Group may have to recall 124,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars it built between 2013 and last month because they contain a toxic metal.
Cadmium – a poisonous material that’s been linked to increasing the risk of lung cancer – has been found in the charger components of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche plug-in models, halting production at the car-maker’s factories immediately.
The German Federal Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt is now in discussions with the manufacturer concerning a recall of the cars it has already sold to motorists.
There’s a wide variety of choice when it comes to used electric models on the market today
Consumers said they would be more concerned that a used laptop or phone would have limited battery life
In contrast to how people felt about used electric cars in the research, battery concerns were top of the issues most had with second-hand tech devices, especially those who feared battery deterioration due to previous use.
While three quarters were happy to buy a handed-down electric car, plenty were dubious that pre-owned battery-powered computers and phones wouldn’t have the same longevity and lifespan of a new ones and were worried that they might be close to breaking or soon become obsolete.
Interestingly, these battery concerns were not mentioned regarding electric vehicles when the panel was surveyed.
Experts estimate that battery packs in electric cars won’t need to be replaced for between 10 and 20 years or when the car vehicle has covered around 150,000 miles.
Figures released in 2015 showed that out of 35,000 Nissan Leafs sold in Europe by that time, just 0.01 per cent – which accounted for three – of battery units had failed.
Replacing a battery pack for a Leaf costs around £5,000.
The Nissan Leaf (pictured) has been on sale in the UK since 2010, meaning there are plenty of used examples around
Renault has been offering customers the choice of renting the battery for the electric cars the French brand sells
Claire Rogan, digital marketing manager at Peter Vardy, said the growing number of high-profile motor manufacturers producing electric models was central to the growing consumer trust with battery-electric cars.
‘Electric vehicles may once have been thought of as clunky and slow, but there has been a huge amount of advancements in terms of aesthetics and technology to these cars in recent years,’ she said.
‘Today, there are some sought-after models available, like the BMW i8 Coupe and Roadster, Porsche Panamera and Jaguar I-Pace, which have also really altered consumers’ opinions.
‘The positive impact these vehicles are set to have on the planet, and the potential improvements that EVs can offer to both the consumer and such a wide variety of industries, really is quite monumental.’
What to look for when buying a second-hand electric car
If you do buy a used electric car – like this 2009 Mitsubishi i-Miev pictured – there are some things you need to look for
For those drivers who agree with the 76 per cent of Britons who’d happily take on a second-hand EV, there are some things to look out for when scouring the market.
Austin Tran from Click Mechanic said: ‘Brakes are the main thing, believe it or not.
‘As the charging is normally taken at braking via applying resistance, the rear brakes do not get used under normal conditions (only under extreme braking). As a result, the rear brakes can seize up.
‘The other thing to check is obviously the condition of the battery.
‘Short stop-start city driving isn’t what cars were designed for, and this includes electric vehicles.
‘Over time, those driving conditions may have a more negative effect on the battery and other supporting components, so it’s worth checking.’
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