Panel discussion offers consumer advice on used electric vehicles

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

AMHERST, Mass. — Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund hosted a webinar panel on Wednesday that discussed used electric vehicle (EV) purchasing, upkeep, maintenance and incentives. The Inflation Reduction Act provides the first-ever federal incentives for used electric vehicles. The incentive of up to a $4,000 credit for used EV buyers came into effect at the start of 2023 – adding to numerous state and local incentives that were already available. 

“Switching to an electric vehicle can seem intimidating to many, but we hope to give people the knowledge they need to confidently reap the environmental and financial benefits of going electric,” said Mackenzie Brown, global warming campaign associate with Environment America Research & Policy Center.

Participants heard from EV experts such as Consumer Reports Associate Auto Test Director Gabe Shenhar. Consumer Report regularly purchases electric vehicles and conducts tests, examining characteristics such as range and reliability.

At Consumer Reports, we believe it is important to empower consumers with data regarding charging, range considerations, and real world use. We are happy that our EV test results help contribute to a more educated buying public,” said Shenhar. “Once you get used to driving EVs, you get a feel for the range. There’s a whole paradigm shift.”

Participants learned about different aspects of purchasing and owning used electric vehicles, including how to determine a used electric vehicle’s range and battery health before purchasing one, how to maintain a used EV, and how to choose the right EV model for their budget and lifestyle.

“It is always ‘buyer beware’ when buying any used vehicle,” said Craig van Batenburg, CEO of Automotive Career and Development Center. “There is a lot that customers need to know before they purchase or own a used electric vehicle. Everyone who doesn’t drive an electric vehicle should consider it.”

Used electric vehicles can cost much less than new ones and can offer many of the same benefits. Any EV, whether new or secondhand, is cheaper to maintain and often cheaper to fuel than a gas car, and eliminates harmful tailpipe pollution.

“Electric vehicles are critical for meeting our climate goals,” said Ellie Peichel of Plug In America. “But it’s not just about replacing gas cars with electric vehicles- it’s also about making sure that electric vehicles stay on the road for as long as possible and are accessible to everyone.”