Looking for advice on used EV purchase

Discussion in 'General' started by kraze ivan, Apr 5, 2018.

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  1. kraze ivan

    kraze ivan New Member


    I am looking to buy a used EV in the next several months and planning on doing some research and comparison shopping in the mean time. My commute is 70 miles per day so I would like to have a range of around 100 miles or so (to cover the occasional traffic detours). I live in Florida so based on what I have read, I want to avoid air cooled battery systems (so no Leafs) due to excessive battery degradation in hot and humid climates.

    So far the list of models I am considering:
    Volkswagon e-Golf
    Ford Focus Electric
    BMW i3
    Chevy Bolt
    Anything Tesla (though out of my price range)
    Anything I forgot or should exclude?

    Having never owned an EV, are there particular hidden pitfalls that I want to avoid when buying a used one? For example, do I want to avoid model year 2016 for this model car because of X?

    The car is pretty much just going to be used for the daily commute so I don't need crazy range or particular charging network (since all the charging will be done at home). I am looking to spend under $25k, ideally under $20k. Anyone have good suggestions or advice? Thank you in advance.
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  3. kraze ivan

    kraze ivan New Member

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
  4. Tom Moloughney

    Tom Moloughney InsideEVs Staff Subscriber

    I've owned a 2014 BMW i3 REx (drove it for 73,000 miles before it was unfortunately totalled) and I now have a 2018 i3 Sport BEV. I've been following the used i3 market and you can get some incredible deals. I would probably caution against a 2014 REx, though because the earlier models seem to have had more problems than the 2015's an on have.

    I didn't have many problems with my 2014, but I have heard of others that have. I think that since you need 100 miles a day (and most likely there will be some days that you need more for various reasons, a used i3 REx would fit your needs well. You'll be on battery for 80%+ time and have the flexibility to go 150 - 200 miles in a pinch if you need to.

    You could get a low mileage 2015 i3 REx for under 20K (the original MSRP was probably $50K) so there are some really great deals out there now. Good luck!
  5. kraze ivan

    kraze ivan New Member

    I have been looking at the i3's with interest. There appears to be a number of used ones for sale in my area, most are just north of $15k with the REx's several thousand more. Thank you for the advice.
    Tom Moloughney likes this.
  6. Tom Moloughney

    Tom Moloughney InsideEVs Staff Subscriber

    Honestly, if you want a used EV for well under 20K, and need to have a reliable 100 miles of range, the i3 REx is just about the only option. ;)
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  8. kraze ivan

    kraze ivan New Member

    I am also finding a fair number of eGolf's for sale around the same price point.
  9. Tom Moloughney

    Tom Moloughney InsideEVs Staff Subscriber

    Be careful with that. While the new eGolf (2017-on) has an EPA range of 124 miles, the older ones only go about 83 miles per charge when new. If you get one a few years old it may only go 75 miles or so per charge.
  10. kraze ivan

    kraze ivan New Member

    Good to know, I will be sure to look at the model years. Is it only the past model year that was bumped up to 100+ mile range?
  11. Tom Moloughney

    Tom Moloughney InsideEVs Staff Subscriber

    VW increased the size of the battery in 2017. Any model earlier than a 2017 won't go close to 100 miles per charge unless you are an expert hypermiler! ;)
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  13. kraze ivan

    kraze ivan New Member

    I am also intrigued about the Fiat 500e as I can find 4-5 for sale at sub $15k with less than 20k miles (all model year 2015s). They have a listed range of 87 miles, anyone know if this is one to avoid or something to jump on? I think they were originally CARB only but these all appear to be off lease.
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I too own a 2014 BMW i3-REx and agree that the 2015 and later models corrected a number of problems. Due to taking speed bumps too fast, I had a motor mount bolt break only to find the replacement parts are substantially stronger.

    I also recommend getting the BIMMERCODE system with a wireless OBD interface. This allows setting: enable REx at 75%; expand usable tank capacity from 1.9 to 2.3 gallons, and; set the default accelerator mode to middle instead of power. Enabling the REx early allows turning on the engine on the highway where it pays good efficiency dividends and turning it off later. The extra 0.4 gallons gives about 15 more gas miles. Finally making COMFORT PRO the middle, default mode improves efficiency while retaining A/C and heating.

    These mods (i.e., coding) makes the BMW i3-REx into a outstanding commuter car. A 2015 will have a 50,000 mi/5 year warranty that is well worth it. The 2016 coming off lease should soon be coming and the extra price well worth it to deal with some infantile problems.

    Bob Wilson

    ps. I bought our 2014 BMW i3-REx in Charlotte NC and drove it 463 miles home, over the I-35 pass, to Huntsville AL. One block from the dealer, I stopped and put on the 75% enable code and the REx came on at the Charlotte beltway. I never looked back until the motor mount bolt broke due to me taking speed bumps into a 25 mph neighborhood about 10-15 mph faster.

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