Guide to buying a used electric car or two-wheeler

Buying a second-hand EV, be it a car or bike, is a good way to test the water out if this is the first time you are trying out an EV and if you are looking to save some money.

November 9, 2021 11:46 AM
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Have you always wanted to switch to an EV but are unsure whether it’s the right choice for you? Buying a second-hand EV, be it a car or bike, is a good way to test the water out if this is the first time you are trying out an EV and if you are looking to save some money. With growing interest in EVs and a consistent push from the government for EV adoption, a number of new models of electric vehicles have already entered the used vehicle market.

Buying a used EV requires some amount of due diligence, especially if you are a first-time EV buyer. Before you jump in and make the decision, it’s important to spend time researching your options and figuring out the right ones for you. To make this simpler, here are some suggestions to keep in mind when you are buying a second-hand EV bike or a car

Check the battery size and condition

The battery size is in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and it signifies how much electricity the battery can store when new, and therefore how far it can drive on a charge. One of the key things to consider while buying a second-hand EV is to do a thorough check of the battery. Battery condition can be described in a number of ways including the percentage of battery capacity remaining, State of Health (‘SoH’) which describes the overall condition of a battery and not its current charge. ‘State of Health’ can be more useful than an odometer reading.

For instance, an EV may have low mileage but a reduced SoH if it has not been used for some time or if it has been excessively fast-charged. An EV with slightly higher mileage but better SoH may be a better option. In addition to checking the SoH, also don’t forget to check the warranty period of the battery. New EV battery warranties typically have 3-8 years of warranty for a certain distance covered (1,00,000 km)

Charger inlets and suitable charging points

Figure out the kind of charging port the vehicle has so that you can find the available charging points in and around your location. One of the things that most EV owners feel anxious about is range anxiety. Currently, there are not enough charging stations in India and therefore, you may want to find a charger that can be installed at home. Look for a compatible charger that can work on any power outlet. Additionally, look for charging stations installed in small shops, kirana stores in and around your regular commute routes.

Check for software updates

Similar to how your laptops and gadgets require regular software updates, EVs also need constant software updates to improve their performance. Ensure that the vehicle you are buying has the latest software updates from the manufacturer.


Unlike petrol and diesel vehicles, EVs don’t require much maintenance. However, in case of any damage to the vehicle, there might be significant costs to procure the spare parts. It’s advisable to buy suitable vehicle insurance. Look for coverage of common issues and make sure some of the key parts are covered under warranty to cover the risk.

Check the battery replacement availability and cost

Some manufacturers provide poor support in terms of battery replacement leading to wait times of up to 3 months. Since you may have to replace the battery within 2 years, check the battery replacement cost with your local dealer. Factor this cost into your purchase decision.

In addition to the above-mentioned aspects, it’s also important to assess your purpose and need for an EV. Does an EV suit your lifestyle? What is the kind of usage that you have? Do you have access to the necessary charging infrastructure? Are your expectations in line with what an EV has to offer? These are some points that you need to consider and have answers to before making the decision.

A second-hand vehicle gives you an excellent chance to experience EVs and it’s a smart way to save some money if you aren’t fully convinced to make the switch to EVs. Before you make the purchase, make sure you understand the nitty gritty of owning and maintaining an EV.

Author: Sameer Ranjan Jaiswal, Co-Founder, Charzer

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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