Many of you want to buy an electric car, but prefer a used electric car. And we get many comments from you asking us, how to buy a used electric car.
- You prefer to buy a used electric car as many of you feel that the electric cars in India are expensive compared to equivalent ICE cars.
- You prefer to 'try' an electric car by spending less and getting a used one.
- You might have some apprehensions about the ‘hassles’ (in quotes action with hands)
of an electric car, so you would prefer to buy a used electric car. Some of these ‘hassles’ (in quotes action with hands) are
- Many of you feel that going to a petrol pump is more convenient compared to charging at home
- Many of you feel that you will get stuck up in middle of road when the battery gets depleted.
- Or you might have to pay a lot of money to change your battery in few years time.
- Many of you actually love the concept of an Electric Car and are cognizant of the rapid advances in EV range and capability. Why buy an electric car outright if in three or four years its performance, features and range will be surpassed by newer models?
So you would prefer to buy a used electric car.
Whatever your reasons for preferring a second hand model, we congratulate you on your decision to go electric. You will stop polluting your city’s air and help quieten your city.
Moreover, there are strong arguments to be made for a second hand electric car. For one, a used plug-in should be far more reliable than a ICE car because plugin electrics have fewer moving parts and aren’t powered by complex engines handling combustions or explosions. Consumer prices for electricity are far more stable than for petrol or diesel and you save money.
Consider this, a 2014 Mahindra e2o, with 55,000 km on it, is being sold for around Rs 3 Lakhs.
It is sold for less than half of its original price and its battery can go strong for many years. For perspective, that’s what an average Indian driver spends on petrol alone over a 4-5 year period.
One of the first things you will need to understand is that, state and central government tax credits are only available for new buyers of EV’s, so buyers of used models can't get that help, even one with minimal mileage.
What are your used electric car options in 2019? To be honest your options are fairly limited.
- A 7+ year old Reva with new batteries
- A 3-5+ years old Mahindra e2o classic with original batteries
- A 2+ year old Mahindra e2o Plus P6 model
So, the Reva. What a legendary Indian electric car. This was designed by Mr Chetan Maini and Mr Pratap Jayaram and manufactured by the Reva Electric Car company. Almost every owner we know loves their Reva.
If you want to use the Reva and they still have original batteries, do replace them.
There are couple of companies doing Reva battery upgrades. These companies are actual Reva users and they would like to see our tiny little Indian electric car go beyond 2020!
So a lead acid battery pack on Reva, with a range of 80 km, along with fitting, would cost around 1.5 Lakhs. And we have seen many users use Lead Acid battery based Reva’s for 5+ years if batteries are charged properly, and driven around. If you want Lithium battery upgrades, they do it too.
The links to company details are given below. Contact them directly.
We actually have user data of e2o users now and we have confidence that Lithium-Iron Phosphate battery pack used in the e2o can last for 8+ years.
Regarding range, the classic e2o delivered what it promised and more. Most of the time, we got more than the promised 100 km even after 5+ years!
- The e2o came in 2 flavors the 100 km e2o and 120 km e2o. Essentially both these versions have the same battery. It’s just that the 100 km e2o has a larger buffer and thus the e2o 120 km models will have a visible noticeable degradation, after few years.
For example when you full charge your e2o 120 km, the SOC would be 100% while the DTE would be 116 km or lesser. But the range achieved on both the models is the same.
- Take it on a 40-50 km drive with AC on. Learn to know how to drive an electric car. Try to use max regenerative braking. Check out our videos on how to achieve good efficiency. Link in the description.
- On a 50 km ride, your SOC must be around the 50% mark. This will tell that you had an efficient ride and batteries are performing well.
- Some versions of the e2o were purchased with an EMI system with complicated set of rules and payment options. Luckily that scheme was phased out soon as it was not that popular. But if you are buying this version of the e2o ensure you have all the paperwork of the EMI payments sorted with the owner.
- Speak to the current owner about his/her charging habits. The e2o takes only 4-5 hours for a full charge, but it needs to be charged for 10 hours once a week for optimal cell balancing. If the owner says - ‘Err….i dont know i charge at work at home”. Then it’s better to look elsewhere.
- Also ask your owner if the car was not used/not charged for many months. If the answer is yes, ask if “vacation mode” was applied during this period. If the replies were “No” and “what is vacation mode??” - then it is a red flag!
- It’s always better to buy from an educated customer who takes care of their car.
- Visit the Mahindra dealership of the e2o’s owner and ask the dealership to check the battery pack for any potential cell issues and provide a report. This could be a paid service but it should not cost much and the current owner can get this done.
- Also ask for a report on the following big ticket electronic components like Onboard Charger, AC compressor, 12 Volt auxiliary battery, IEMS (Intelligent Energy Management System).
- Once you buy the 2nd hand e2o, make friends with Mahindra dealers who service electric cars. Many of these dealers have experience working with battery packs, electronics etc. They can service your used e2o and as most e2o’s warranty would have expired, these service sessions would be paid. An average rate of Rs 3000 if no part was changed which is not bad for something done once a year.
- If there are any electric parts that have to be replaced - like IEMS, Onboard charger and if your car is out of warranty, be prepared to shell out some cash.
- Service should be done once a year. You take your e2o to the dealerships and they have a series of checklist which they go through.
The P6 and P2 are stable 48 V system based electric cars and you can consider these models.
In terms of range, Unlike the classic e2o, the e2o Plus struggles to delivers, the expected range - falling short by 5 to 10%. The regen kicks in later here. Where as in the classic e2o, you let go of the accelerator pedal and the regen was instantaneous. Also creep mode in e2o Plus has a mind of its own and we feel drains energy. Driving optimally is a challenge and takes time to get used to.
Most 2nd hand purchase tips, which are applicable for the e2o apply here too.
Buying a used electric car is a way different than buying a used ICE car. Forget about depreciation resale value and all that mumbo jumbo. You are buying an electric car for the fun of using one and for the satisfaction of using fuel that is Made In India or Made by the Sun - to transport you and your family. And for being clean, green and responsible.
We congratulate you on your decision to buy a used electric car. Buying a used car is way more environment friendly than buying a new one and we at PluginIndia salute you!
Here is link to businesses who can revive your Reva Electric car with new batteries.
How to drive efficiently
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