Lyft’s guide to the transportation revolution

EV buying tip #9: Make sure that used EV battery is as healthy as it seems

Bryan Gardiner - Apr 24, 2023
EV Buying Tip #9
Illustration by Betsy Falco

As with all used cars, looking for one with low mileage is still a good idea. But, because of the high cost of replacing a battery, its health should be your primary concern when buying a used EV. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Real Range.Try to find the real total range of the EV you’re interested in. This might be as simple as navigating to the charging screen. Alternatively, you can charge the used EV to 100 percent and then check the estimated range. Comparing this to the original rating will give you a good idea of what’s left.

  • Climate.If possible, try to find out as much as you can about how the vehicle was driven and where. It won’t be guaranteed, but EVs from milder climates will likely have less battery degradation. 

  • Charging History.Someone who consistently charges their battery to 100 percent and uses a lot of DC fast chargers will generally have much more battery degradation. The more information about how the EV was charged, the better. Some companies, like Recurrent, offer free vehicle and battery analysis reports for certain EV models.

It’s also a good idea to get a used car inspection with a brand specialist or a local EV mechanic. If you’re dealing with a car dealership, have its service department give you a detailed report on battery health. And remember, some battery loss is to be expected. Use any signs of degradation as a bargaining chip. 

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