Want to opt for plug-in power but don’t want to buy new? These are some of the best options around, says Jack Evans.
It feels as if a manufacturer releases a new electric model each week these days. With the big push towards electrification, the number of battery-powered cars on the market today is far greater than it was a few years ago – and that means, as a result, more are trickling into the used market.
So if you’re fancying the switch to an electric vehicle but don’t want to buy a new car, what are your options? Let’s take a look below at the best options available on the used market today for a variety of different budgets…
£4,500 – Nissan Leaf
Under £5,000 is enough to get behind the wheel of an electric car. The Nissan Leaf was a forerunner for the entire segment and, as a result, there are plenty of used examples available. We’ll admit that earlier examples – which we’re looking at here – don’t bring the greatest of electric ranges, but there’s more than enough in the ‘tank’ for shorter journeys and commutes.
Plus, the Leaf has proven itself in terms of reliability, so there shouldn’t be too many mechanical headaches associated with a used example.
£8,000 – Renault Zoe
Much like the Nissan Leaf, Renault’s Zoe has been around for some time now. Its compact proportions mean it’s ideal for nipping in and out of traffic, while a cleverly packaged interior offers more space than you may think given its compact exterior dimensions.
For this budget, you’ll get a Zoe capable of travelling for around 130 miles per charge. Just bear in mind that early Zoe models came with a battery lease scheme, incurring a monthly cost.
£15,000 – BMW i3
Unlike many others on this list, the BMW i3 is still on sale in pretty much the same format as it has been for many years now. A budget of £15,000 will net a 2015 example with relatively low miles on the clock, bringing an interior that still feels bang up to date.
Earlier versions of the i3 often came with a small petrol-powered ‘range extender’ generator, which tops up the batteries should their levels drop too low. It’s a great option for those who remain a little unsure about the full-EV life.
£20,000 – Smart ForTwo
Smart’s little ForTwo is a particularly well-known car, having been a go-to option for those living in the city for some time. So it was only natural for the firm to switch to electric cars, given that EVs are often a great choice for those in urban areas.
For £20,000, you can actually get a 2021-year model. With an 81-mile range, it’s definitely suited to more urban commutes, but clever packaging means it’s more spacious than you might think.
£30,000 – Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai has been on a roll with its electric cars of late, bringing a series of long-range models which out-do the competition in terms of performance but without going overboard on price.
For £30,000, you’ll be able to make a considerable saving by opting for a low-mileage Kona. By doing so, you’ll get a larger battery version capable of travelling for up to 279 miles on a charge, and save around £5,000 in the process.
£40,000 – Tesla Model S
A healthy £40,000 budget gets you into the Tesla club and though at this price you could opt for a brand-new Model 3, why not go for a used version of the firm’s flagship saloon – the Model S? At this price, you’ll be able to get the hugely powerful P85D, which is capable of going from 0-60mph in under three seconds.
But it’s comfortable too, while you get the high level of technology that people have come to expect from Tesla models. Plus, it grants access to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger network.
Once you’ve reached the £50,000 mark, the used argument tends to not make as much sense. Save for some ultra-high-end models, £50,000 is enough to net many of the brand-new EVs on sale today.
These include cars like the Volkswagen ID.3, Skoda’s long-range Enyaq or even Audi’s classy Q4 e-tron Sportback.