July 3, 2023

Used Electric Vehicles and Batteries

Buying a used EV is a great option to gain all the benefits of driving electric but at a reduced cost. Now more than ever, there are more options and reasons to choose a used EV. High demand is driven by lower running costs, increased range, improved variety of models, and a generous suite of incentives.

The used EV market is growing and there are models ranging from €10,000 upwards which can potentially meet your needs. With the coming legislation to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles by 2030 and all new cars to be zero-emitting by 2035, it might be a good time to switch to an EV, as your petrol or diesel car’s resale value may reduce as we approach the upcoming ban.

Factors to consider

While Purchase Grants & VRT relief apply to new cars only, other financial incentives including the home charger grant, reduced tolls, low motor tax, and VRT relief for imports, are available for a used EV. 

A vehicle's total cost of ownership includes the purchase price, running costs, maintenance, and resale value. EVs have fewer moving parts, no gearbox/clutch, no timing belt, oil changes, etc. so the potential for mechanical issues in the drivetrain of a used EV vehicle is considerably less.


Batteries are the most expensive component and the component of most concern for drivers considering the switch to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) or Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). 

Battery health and range
To make sure you’re aware of the battery condition of a used vehicle, check the SoH (State of Health), a battery should retain between 70%-80% SoH during its lifespan depending on the vehicle. You can easily check the battery status (or remaining capacity) through the car’s infotainment system.  

There are typically 2 gauges of varying formats to check:

SoH (state of health), long-term battery capacity, different vehicles will show this in different formats, sometimes with the use of bars.
SoC (state of charge), is the short-term charge and associated range, this can fluctuate day to day and is impacted by many factors including temperature, road conditions, and driver behaviour. In general, at 100% SoC, the km range will also be indicated

Life cycle comparison to non-electric vehicles
Once an EV has driven more than 30,000 km, it will have offset the emissions used to build it. EVs are considerably more sustainable than any other form of road transport and don’t create any tailpipe emissions (in fully electric mode) once they are driving on our roads. As Ireland moves to more renewables on the grid the CO2 associated with electricity generation will decrease.