Did you know that there are currently 40,000 Electric Vehicles (EVs) licensed and operating in Ontario? That’s just one of a number of factoids gleaned from a Used Electric Vehicle 101 Seminar I attended on the weekend at PlugNDrive.
It appears that a lot of EVs are now coming off lease and are starting to become available on the Used Car market at the same time as the large government rebates (except for the $5,000 incentive just announced by the Federal Government) are no longer available (at least in Ontario). So, if you want to own an EV, the used car market is now your economical option. As an example, the 2015 Nissan Leaf can be found on Autotrader for around $15,000. Older, higher mileage vehicles are less and newer, low mileage EVs are somewhat more but the numbers of vehicles available (the first wave of EVs sold as new cars 4 to 5 years ago) are increasing. I’m seeing 2014/2015 EVs for under $15,000 with 50,000 to 125,000 Km. Do these cars have another 5 years and another 150,000+ Km available? It appears to be a reasonable expectation. Keep reading and I’ll explain.
I was curious about what is happening with EVs since I wrote about my discovery of EVs (about two years ago) and how the Plug ‘N Drive Discovery Centre in Toronto was the place to talk to EV owners and enthusiasts. It’s also the place to test drive a range of EVs and to educate yourself on this new technology in a no-pressure environment. CLICK HERE to read my earlier EV blog post.
I discovered that even though battery technology has evolved over the past few years, the Used EV market offers the opportunity to begin transitioning to electric with a relatively inexpensive second car with fuel and maintenance costs that are 20% or less of what a similar gas vehicle would cost to operate. Consider if a used EV might make sense for you. If you drive less than 100 Km/day and you are already a 2-car family and you have access to an electrical outlet (not the case in many condos and apartments), a used EV is worth considering given the economics of an EV as a second car. For the average Canadian driver, you only need to charge once per week. You’ll save $2,000 per year on fuel and maintenance and you will generate up to 90% less emissions than a similarly sized gas vehicle. That’s a lot of practical as well as philosophical reasons to dig deeper.
I had some concerns about battery life and range on these earlier generation EVs but factory warranties on these vehicles’ batteries are 8 years or 160,000 Km (Nissan Leaf) and experts in the field are now expecting these batteries to last beyond 350,000 Km when driven and maintained properly. The only other areas of concern are brakes and the electric motor. Brakes require servicing every couple of years but the motor (unlike an internal combustion engine) will continue on indefinitely.
Here’s an added bonus! If you sign up for a Used EV 101 Seminar at PlugNDrive (it’s FREE, by the way), PlugNDrive sponsors are offering a $1,000 cash rebate if you purchase a Used EV within the 12 months following the seminar. Do yourself a favour and make use of the services of Plug ‘N Drive located in Toronto if you are considering an EV in your future