Used electric cars offer more affordable clean transportation

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Looking for a high quality, low-cost way to get around town? Buying a used electric car is likely to be your least expensive ride.

While the first electric cars came at a premium price, new models are much more affordable. Many high quality electric cars were built three or more years ago, and as owners wrap up their leases and buy new models, it creates an influx of used electric cars for people looking at low-cost options.

How low are the prices? There are many choices from $8,000 to $14,000. And when you factor in the estimated $1,000 per year in savings from fuel and maintenance costs, buying a used electric car is a very appealing option (Not to mention that you are reducing carbon emissions and air pollution). Check out these details.

Lower fuel costs

Electricity is much less expensive than gasoline, and the price has been less volatile over time. The U.S. Department of Energy has a comparison called the “eGallon,” which compares the cost of fueling an electric vehicle and a gas vehicle. If you compare those costs over time, choosing electricity is a no-brainer.

Much less maintenance

In general, electric cars are so cheap to maintain because there are hardly any moving parts. A recent report by the financial services company UBS helps put it in perspective. The Chevrolet Bolt for example, (coming to Minnesota this year) has just 24 moving parts. A similar gas car has 149. And even parts that are similar, like breaks, don’t get the same wear and tear on an electric model because regenerative breaking does most of the work slowing down the car. Overall, UBS estimates that annual maintenance costs for the Bolt will be 60 percent lower than its gas counterpart.

Families going electric

These lower costs are making used electric cars an affordable option for Minnesota families.

The Scheid Family

The Garbis Family

Expanding options

In 2008, there was only one electric vehicle model available. Now there are over 20 and by 2020, there will be over 120 models. As new electric cars come to the market, offering longer ranges and lower prices points, the market for used models continues to grow.

If you are ready to consider buying a used electric car, jump in!

  • Decide which model is right for you. If you mostly drive around town, a used Nissan Leaf with a range of 90 miles could be perfect. If you are a one-car family and want to take longer trips, a used Chevy Volt (with drives electric for the first 30 miles) might be better.
  • Check out the options. Car Soup allows you to search for used cars by fuel source. You can also try your favorite dealer and ask if they have any in stock.
  • Consider how you will charge. All you need is a standard 110 outlet for basic charging (the same type of outlet you would use for a toaster). You can upgrade to make charging faster.
  • Check out PlugIn Connect. Fresh Energy partners with Jukka Kukkonen to provide electric car education across the state. Check out his resources to connect with electric vehicle owners, find out more information, and explore how to charge at home if you live in a multifamily building.

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