Used Cars: 10 Cheapest Used Electric Cars to Buy

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 06/12/2023

Looking to switch to Electric Vehicles (EVs)? Or looking for the cheapest used electric cars to buy. You are sure to save on gas, especially with the high cost of fuel in many parts of the world. EVs also produce fewer emissions so you will also be contributing clean energy to the world ecosystem.

But first, why EVs?  

EVs are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries. They produce zero emissions at the tailpipe, making them a cleaner option than gasoline or diesel cars. They require less maintenance than traditional cars, and the cost of electricity is generally more stable than gasoline prices. However, the range of electric vehicles can be limited, and charging infrastructure is still less widespread than gas stations.

Gas-powered vehicles on the other hand have been the dominant form of transportation for over a century. But they emit harmful pollutants and contribute to climate change. They require regular maintenance, such as oil changes and spark plug replacement. Fuel costs can be volatile depending on the price of oil.

Diesel cars are known for their fuel efficiency. But they also produce more nitrogen oxides and particulate matter than gasoline cars. Diesel engines require regular maintenance, and the cost of diesel fuel can vary depending on market conditions.

EVs offer a cleaner and more efficient alternative to gas and diesel cars. With lower operating costs and less maintenance required. However, they can have a limited range and require access to charging infrastructure. 

Now you know the benefit of driving an EV. But do you know that you do not need to break the bank to own one? Here is a list of 10 cheap EVs you can start your EV journey with…

10 Cheapest Used Electric Cars 

1. Nissan Leaf

For used car buyers, the 2015 Nissan Leaf is a top contender for the cheapest used electric car due to its exceptional reliability and low ownership costs. This compact hatchback is also highly sought after for its capacious seats and cargo area. The Leaf offers agile handling and quick acceleration, although it struggles to pick up speed on highways. With a range of only 84 miles and slow charging times, it may not be the best choice for long-distance travel. 

However, if you require an economical electric vehicle for daily commutes, the Leaf is hard to beat. Though it has its flaws, the Leaf is a pragmatic option for those seeking a reliable EV. Alternatively, the 2016 Leaf provides 107 miles of range but comes at a higher price point.

2. Chevrolet Spark EV

Offering a blend of practicality and efficiency, the Chevrolet Spark is a compact hatchback EV that packs a punch. The first introduction was in 1998, the Spark saw the release of an electric version in June 2013. With a limited production run, the Spark EV boasted a 130 HP electric motor and a 21.3 kWh battery, providing a range of around 82 miles on a single charge. 

2014 Chevrolet Spark
2014 Chevrolet Spark

Although this range may not be the most extensive on the market, it’s perfectly suited for daily commutes in the city. The Spark was originally over $25,000 in 2013, used models are now available on the market for around $10,000, making it an affordable option.

3. Ford Focus Electric

Despite not producing electric vehicles initially, Ford’s investment in EcoBoost technology enabled the brand to become highly efficient in the market. Nevertheless, with the introduction of the Ford Focus Electric, the brand raised the bar with its contemporary 143 HP electric powertrain. 

Ford Focus

The Focus Electric also featured DC fast charging, which enabled drivers to recharge their EVs quickly, taking only a fraction of the time required by other vehicles. With an approximate range of 120 miles, the Focus Electric was ideal for urban driving. Furthermore, Ford incorporated some of its state-of-the-art connectivity features, giving Focus Electric a more futuristic appearance and user experience.

4. Toyota Rav4 EV

The Toyota RAV4 EV is a spacious SUV that surpasses many of its low-cost counterparts in comfort. It also boasts an impeccable reliability rating and an impressive driving range. Toyota collaborated with Tesla and Panasonic to create the second iteration of the RAV4 EV, which was available until the 2014 model year. 

toyota rav4 2018

While the previous generation was only around until 2003 and had limited availability, this model comfortably accommodates five individuals in two generous rows and includes a sizable cargo hold. However, the interior materials are not as high in quality as its peers. The RAV4 EV provides a smooth ride and responsive handling, and its electric motor and battery pack deliver ample power for a family vehicle.

5. Kia Soul EV

Kia is widely recognized as one of the most modern and dependable automakers in the industry. The Kia Soul was first introduced in 2014, featuring a robust 109 HP powertrain that earned it acclaim. The Soul underwent a refresh in 2020, which saw its powertrain upgraded to an impressive 201 HP. 

Over the years, Kia also improved the battery in the Soul. While all models initially came with comparable batteries, the electric motor’s increased efficiency allowed for the latest versions to achieve a range of 243 miles. In contrast, the earlier models could only cover approximately 150 miles on a single charge.

6. Fiat 500e

One of the most recognizable city cars in the world, the Fiat 500 has recently undergone an electrifying transformation, becoming the Fiat New 500 or the Fiat 500e. Inspired by the classic Fiat 500 models of the past, this electric hatchback also boasts a modern, futuristic design. With a single charge, the Fiat 500e can travel an impressive distance of up to 199 miles, thanks to its efficient electric powertrain, which generates 116 HP – enough to make it a great choice for city driving. 

Although the original price for this Italian hatchback was over $25,000, it is now available for purchase at less than half of that price, making it a great bargain for eco-conscious drivers.

7. Smart EQ

The Smart EQ is an electric hatchback with two doors, which made its debut in 2007. During its initial trial, the vehicle was tested in London with 100 cars. Later, the second version of the car was sold in more than 18 countries worldwide, and this led to its popularity, resulting in the sale of over 2,300 units from 2009 to 2012. The first generation of the Smart EQ featured a 41 HP powertrain with an approximate range of 68 miles. 

However, the second generation of this hatchback improved on this by featuring a 27 HP powertrain and a battery that could support around 84 miles of range, making it ideal for daily city driving.

8. BMW i3

The BMW i3 is an eccentric electric car with a crossover-like appearance. Its interior exudes a luxurious feel, and both the front and rear seats offer ample space. Additionally, the i3 boasts greater cargo capacity than other comparable EVs and enjoys a higher-than-average reliability rating. It made its entry into the hybrid market with the BMW i8, following up shortly after with the BMW i3, a hybrid hatchback. The i3, which hit the market in 2013, was a cutting-edge 5-door hatchback that combined a 2-cylinder engine with a robust electric motor. 

2016 BMW i3

Although the i3 was not an entirely electric vehicle, it directly competed with compact EVs during its time. With an electric range of approximately 81 miles, the i3 was slightly less efficient than the e-Golf at that time. Nevertheless, the i3, which had an original cost of $45,000, is now a fantastic bargain, with used models selling for around $15,000.

9. Volkswagen E-Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is widely considered to be the world’s most popular hatchback. Even renowned TV presenters such as Jeremy Clarkson have lauded Golf for its practicality and fuel efficiency, cementing its position as the gold standard for daily driving. The e-Golf from Volkswagen aimed to improve and expand on the Golf’s reputation by offering an innovative new powertrain option. 

With this powertrain, the e-Golf could directly compete with other electric vehicles available in the market. Although the e-Golf had a range of just 100 miles, it was more affordable than other premium EVs at the time, making it a fantastic purchase even as a used vehicle.

10. Chevrolet Volt

Although not a fully electric car, the Chevrolet Volt boasts the longest range of any plug-in hybrid available. It made the list of cheapest electric cars because it is a suitable option for drivers seeking to maximize their electric driving distance. When the electric range is depleted, the Volt’s gas-powered generator kicks in, transforming the vehicle into an energy-efficient hybrid. The Volt is nimble, rapid, and equipped with comfortable front seats, earning high marks for safety and reliability in the 2013 model. 

However, the cargo area and second-row seats are somewhat small. Opting for a second-generation model (2016 or later) will provide an electric-only range of an impressive 53 miles but at a higher cost. Overall, the Chevrolet Volt is an excellent introduction to EV ownership.

Keep in mind that buying a used electric car can come with some risks, such as reduced battery capacity, which can affect range and performance. It’s important to do your research and have the car inspected by a professional before making a purchase. Additionally, be sure to factor in the cost of a home charging station and the availability of public charging stations in your area when considering the total cost of ownership.

Further Reading

Cheapest Used Electric Car Maintenance

Here are steps to properly maintain your electric car to increase its lifespan and have it serve you longer: 

1. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule: Just like any other vehicle, electric cars come with a maintenance schedule that specifies when various components need to be inspected or replaced. Follow this schedule to keep your car running smoothly.

2. Keep the battery charged: The battery is the heart of an electric car, so it’s important to keep it charged to maintain its health. Avoid fully depleting the battery if possible, and don’t let it sit for too long without being charged.

3. Check tire pressure: Keeping the tires properly inflated not only helps ensure optimal handling and fuel economy, but it can also extend the life of the tires.

4. Keep the brakes in good condition: Electric cars often use regenerative braking, which means the brake pads may last longer than on traditional vehicles. However, it’s still important to have the brakes inspected regularly to ensure they’re in good condition.

5. Monitor fluid levels: Electric cars require less maintenance than gasoline cars, but they still have fluids that need to be checked periodically, such as coolant and brake fluid. Check these levels regularly and top them off as needed.

6. Keep the car clean: Keeping the car clean, both inside and out, can help maintain its value and prevent damage to the exterior or interior. Regular washing and waxing can help protect the paint from scratches and environmental damage.

7. Follow safe charging practices: If you charge your electric car at home, make sure to follow safe charging practices, such as using the correct type of outlet, avoiding using extension cords, and not overloading circuits.

How can you get one?

You can get your electric car from Auto Auction Mall, with an inventory of over 150k plus vehicles, you are sure to find one that fits your needs. Auto Auction Mall gives you access to wholesale auctions allowing you to save on your purchase. Sign up today to have access to available auctions and place your bids on the cheapest electric cars or EVs of your choice. 

We recommend inspecting any vehicle you want to purchase as there is no guarantee of the vehicle’s condition. Auction specialists are available to assist you through the entire auction process and the learning center page has a wealth of information about landing great deals at the auction.

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