Very Cheap EV Commoter Vehicles

I may have lied. A few weeks ago I indicated that an EV would NOT be in my future due to the availability of cheap high mpg vehicles.

On a different thread about a small Bolivan EV I replied that:
I live in exurbia outside a 100,000 city. A round trip to my grocery store which is on the edge of town is 25 miles. This vehicle would be iffy for a round trip to my 100,000 city. But if an $8,000 EV was available in the USA. I would seriously consider buying it while still keeping my old IC vehicle with only liability coverage.

Previously I was interested in the Elios Motor vehicle that failed due to funding. It was a torpedo 2 passenger vehicle with a motorcycle engine.

For kicks I went to see if the website was still there. It is! Apparently he is still trying to make a go of it but as an EV.
Targeted price $14900. 150 mile range, with A/C & cruise control & capable of highway speed

That stimulated the brain cells. What would a lightly used Nissan Leaf cost that had 70 miles of range?
I zip over to I found 1 Leaf with 50K miles on it for $3,500. Most Leafs with 50 to 70K miles are $4,500 to $6,000. Hm I could be in the market for a cheap commuter EV as it would basically be fully depreciated.

I do believe there is a broad market for a basic CHEAP [under $10k] commuter EV. An EV VW bug.

And as time passes longer range EVs will become available at low prices.
I must admit that the EV revolution is progressing much faster than I imagined.



But wait, it gets better:

Lots of fine print but, the credit equals 30% of the sale price up to a maximum credit of $4,000.


No. You changed your mind when a better solution appeared. Most sensible!

The Captain


I believe you must limit your income to $75,000/yr to qualify for the $4,000 used EV tax credit (the income limit is $150,000 for the $7,500 tax credit on a new EV)

It’s kind of like Obamacare for cars. [lol]



How many EVs did you imagine in total in the USA in 2023?

Only second owner and only from a dealer as far as I understand … not sure how a customer can verify “second owner” before purchase.

I haven’t calibrated my EV acceptance to number of EV sold but how it would affect me. I’ve gone from 1)EV trend won’t affect me to 2)in ten years there will be enough charging stations in my sparsely populated state to ease range fear but I will likely be dead to 3)there will be sufficient charging stations & increased sales as more economically EV models come to market in 5 years to perhaps considering a used EV to 5) WOW Leafs are dirt cheap!

tj 5 stages of EV acceptance-similar to Kubler-Ross stages of acceptance of death. LOL

A used Leaf with those kind of miles for that price = great deal (assuming it’s been maintained, relatively clean, etc.). New Leafs when I was looking back in '19, they were trying for Tesla Model 3 prices for them - just, no way. They still want $28K base new! Wow.

Yes but now you get 149 mile range!!! Wow! LOL
I should have mentioned that the cheap Leafs were located 500 or 600 miles from me and would require shipment by truck. So add another $1000?

Can’t you drive them home?

The Captain

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These old Leafs have a range of 70-80 miles. That’s a lot of charging stops. The Leaf is basically a commuter vehicle.
There was an article a few months ago about a young EV helped an older woman who was driving her daughter’s EV at a non Tesla charging port. She needed help getting the right adapter to plug in the EV. The young guy goes into the store and comes out & sees the woman is still having difficulty. He discovers she doesn’t have the app for the charger. Aids her in adding the app to her phone and finally she is up and charging.
I am a bit of a technological luddite. And at age 72 my frustration level isn’t what it was. I wouldn’t want to have to learn the ins & out of charging on a 500-600 mile trip.


Got it. Thanks.

The Captain

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Cheap trailer pulled by your existing car. Put the Leaf on, secure, and go.

$400 for uhaul car trailer for a 650* mile haul. Then there is the question that my older IC toyota 6 cylinder camry** is up to the challenge of hauling a 4400 lb Leaf plus what ever the trailer weighs. Nope.

I believe this is a case of leaving it to the professionals that have the proper equipment.

*nearest cheap Nissan Leaf.
**rated at 2500lbs towing capacity


They now invented putting wheels under the wheels to tow EVs

The Captain


Learning the ins and outs of dealing with a trailer is MUCH more effort than learning the ins and outs of charging an EV while doing a long distance trip. :grin:

In 1988, I rented a U-haul, installed a hitch on an old Cadillac Deville, and drove that combination all the way from NY to FL. It was not particularly fun and I won’t be doing it again.


I learned how to drive a trailer pulling a 22’ travel trailer behind a 1968 (?) Buick Electra 225 with the 481 motor. Remembering to use the trailer brakes to begin slowing well before needed was the hard part–particularly NOT using them too much. Otherwise, no big deal.

I’ve posted about my Leaf experience before, so I won’t go into too much detail but I bought a MY 2011 Leaf in 2015. The Leaf had just gotten and upgrade so leaseholders were exchanging their old Leafs for the new model and dealers were dumping them in huge numbers. Mine cost about $8K out the door. Same car today would be about $5-6K. Battery capacity is about 90% of original.

It gets about 2.4 miles/kWh and electricity is about 12 cents/kWh. But we mainly use it as a commuter car for my wife and she can charge at work for free, so we don’t need to charge at home much. There are also free chargers at local shopping areas and such. I don’t expect I’ll ever have transportation this cheap again. As a benefit, I really like how smooth and quiet it is. If your application is shorter trips around town, it is pretty great.


I’d tow it or ship it as well. That’s a lot of time spent charging.