There are many new electric vehicles coming out in 2021, which is great for all us EV enthusiasts because we’ll have more options to consider for purchasing and more new EV content to consume. This new EV interest surge may also draw more attention to all electric vehicles, including the ones on the used market even though this market may not be nearly as exciting or intriguing.
Not all vehicle owners can afford a new EV, because of their relatively high sticker prices. Note this cost can be somewhat misleading to many who are new to EVs, because in some cases total cost of ownership over five to ten years might be less than the cost of a new internal combustion vehicle — but a price that’s too high is still a price that’s too high.
Used EVs don’t get much press or any, but there are some interesting deals out there right now. And those EVs also benefit from very low operational costs.
The Chevy Bolt has both a respectable range and reputation. Though it’s on the small side, it could be an effective commuter vehicle for many to at least consider.
Below are five examples that should still be within the age and mileage limits to retain their manufacturer warranties. The Bolt’s warranty is three years or 36,000 miles for basic coverage, and five years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain.
- $14,449, 2018 white Chevy Bolt with 23,729 miles, located in Fontana, CA. (link)
- $17,200, 2019 blue Chevy Bolt with 29,711 miles, located in Fontana, CA. (link)
- $17,389, 2019 white Chevy Bolt with 7,456 miles, located in Orlando, Florida. (link)
- $18,800, 2018 black Chevy Bolt with 13,592 miles, located in Costa Mesa, CA. (link)
- $19,997, 2019 white Chevy Bolt with 13,338 miles, located in El Cajon, CA. (link)
This article is not an endorsement of these particular vehicles or dealers. It is only intended to present a sample of what is available with some quick Googling for used Bolts.
Every driver can’t afford a new EV. Fortunately, there is a used EV market and it is getting better and better. Unfortunately, there isn’t a federal tax incentive for used EVs right now. There really should be, because the new-EV incentives are not available to people who can’t afford new EVs.
One EV owner demographic study found that the majority of EV owners were from households with incomes of $100,000 or more per year. A federal used EV tax credit would make purchasing an EV more possible for lower income people. A $4,000 federal used EV tax credit would drop the price of the first Chevy Bolt in the list above to about $10,000, and the most expensive one to around $15,997. (A new 2021 Chevy Bolt is about $36,000 to $40,000 before incentives.)
Another study paper stated the following: “This study suggests that the majority of EV owners in Oregon are white, well-educated, and affluent. In order for EVs to gain widespread acceptance there is a necessity to endorse educational programs in low-income minority communities and provide incentives to support socioeconomically disadvantaged households.”
Making used EVs more affordable would help get older fossil-fueled vehicles off the roads and replace them with zero-emissions vehicles. Lower-income people often live in urban areas with polluted or severely polluted air, but they are less likely to be able to afford electric vehicles, technology that could make their communities much healthier.
Cities with the most air pollution — such as Los Angeles, New York, Fresno, Bakersfield, Riversfield, San Diego, and Chicago — could provide their own incentives to combine with a federal used EV tax credit to help lower-income people get used EVs.