EV Advice: Finding used EV bargains not easy

By Michael Bettencourt

Apr 30, 2022 2 min. read

Article was updated 25 days ago

Join the Conversation (0)
I’m constantly hunting for our next EV, either new or used. Most new EVs are often out of stock, especially the latest generation of models that are priced somewhat like mainstream cars, including the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID.4.

There may still be a few floating around on lots, either because buyers cancelled last minute or dealers are selling their demo vehicles, but these (and likely other EVs) have largely sold out in Canada for the 2022 model year.

The lengthy wait – a few months to a year or longer – for many new EVs has pushed some buyers to the used market, which is swollen with buyers. Here are some useful ways to save some money when shopping for a used EV.

The first is to do your homework. Website has information about two non-government used EV incentives for drivers in Ontario: a $1,000 incentive for buying any used battery electric vehicle that costs less than $50,000 (before taxes), and another $1,000 if you scrap an older internal combustion vehicle.

Qualifying for the $1,000 purchase incentive requires you to take part in a one-hour Plug ‘n Drive webinar on EV ownership, charging and other key info. A non-profit education group, Plug ‘n Drive has been “cranking out the rebates,” said its president and CEO, Cara Clairman.

As it is privately funded, its incentive program could end at any time. “I went to the province and said, ‘You guys should pick it up,’” said Clairman, who added Quebec offers a government-funded $4,000 used EV rebate. “But I’m not holding my breath.” She also said the federal government has shown interest in a used EV rebate, but there’s no timeline or details on that plan at the time of writing this column.

The $1,000 scrappage incentive is not a lot of money for a still-working vehicle these days, so the wiser financial move may be to trade-in or sell your old car.

Another tip would be to see if you can find an EV lease you can take over, ideally one that only has a year or two of payments left. Its monthly payments may be low thanks to the $14,000 Ontario EV rebate that was cancelled in mid-2018 by the Ford government.

The residual value of the EV would have been set before any chip shortages, gas price spikes or interest rate hikes, so the purchase option at the end of its lease – and perhaps even the monthly payments – may be somewhat more attractive than you could find otherwise.

 Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court