Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 4 - Used EVs

Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming
... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.

New!  WKTV now videotapes the recordings.  Here's the Facebook video link to this show.

Episode 4 Show Notes


Main Topic:  Used Electric Vehicles
  • Main points for buying a used EV:
    • How will the car be used?
    • What range do you need for daily driving?  Don’t forget about winter range loss and eventual battery degradation.
    • Do you expect to take it on road trips?
    • Bottom line: does it meet your driving needs?
  • What charging ports and parameters should you look for?
    • Size of the battery pack - translates into range
    • On-board charger - typically 3.3 - 6.6 KW; translates into miles of range per hour of charge
    • Standard J1772 port
    • Quick charge port - CHAdeMO or CCS, some trim levels or vehicle types will not have this.
  • What equipment should come with it?
    • EVSE “charger” cable
  • What types of used plug-in vehicles am I likely to find?
    • Chevy Volt
    • Nissan LEAF
    • Ford Energi series: C-Max, Fusion
    • Smart ForTwo ED
    • Mitsubishi IMiev
  • What is a good first plug-in vehicle?
    • Consider a plug-in hybrid
    • Don't rule out a battery electric if it meets your range needs
  • What do I need to look for in a used EV?
    • Mainly battery health
    • Most EVs have a liquid-cooled battery and last a long time
    • Nissan LEAF
      • Has a passively-cooled battery
      • Battery health indicator bars can be seen on the dash next to the state of charge bars.
      • LEAF Spy - uses OBD (on-board diagnostic) Bluetooth connector and the Leaf Spy app.  There is a free LEAF Spy Lite version of the app to make sure it works with your phone and OBD connector, but the more useful versions require payment.  See more below.  
      • If you’re thinking of getting a used LEAF, find out how many battery bars there are and get in touch with me or your local EV group to see who can help you run a LEAF Spy diagnostic check.
  • Do I need an expensive upgrade to my house to be able to charge an EV at home?
    • Fundamentally, any 120V standard outlet can power an EV, but most owners elect to add a 240V circuit, like an electric dryer circuit.  The costs of that depend on the house’s electrical system, but can often be added just for a few hundred dollars.  
  • Do I still get a federal tax credit if I buy a used EV?
    • No, only new cars apply.  Be careful when buying a dealer demo and get clarification whether it’s consider new or used.
  • How can I find out more?
    • Do your own on-line research.  Search engines are your friend!
    • Connect with a local electric vehicle enthusiast group! (see below)
  • Used cars online:
  • LEAF Spy -
  • LEAF Spy app for Android:
  • LEAF Spy app for iOS:

Local EV News

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