How much is the cheapest electric car you can buy in Romania? About a Logan in the second hand. But what are the disadvantages?
Inevitably, the fashion of electric vehicles is beginning to encompass the Romanians as well. But in our country the average income of the average buyer does not quite match the price of a new electric vehicle, the price of an entry-level model starting at just over 24 thousand euros (valid for the Renault Zoe model), and this only after including the already generous subsidies granted by the Romanian State. Currently, with the funds completely exhausted, the RABLA program allows to obtain a voucher of 45,000 lei for the purchase of a new pure electric vehicle and 20,000 lei for the purchase of a new hybrid electric vehicle with external power supply, which generates an amount of emissions of not more than 50 grams CO2 per km.
Even if not as varied as the offer of conventional used vehicles, the selection of vehicles with electric propulsion offers more and more options, some even reasonable from the point from the point of view of the quality / price ratio.
Starting from the lowest range, the offer starts with unconventional electric vehicles and no-name models imported directly from China. For enthusiasts without the comfort side, who just want to slip through the city traffic with costs close to zero, we find the model Renault Twizy . Priced at 3,850 euros on the Autovit, the vehicle in the shape of an ATV offers the "luxury" of a fully enclosed cabin that will protect you from rain and wind. For extreme cold and heat, you will need to improvise carefully choosing the clothes you wear. Instead, the seller promises autonomy of 70-100 km obtained with 4 hours of charging at an ordinary 220v outlet, more than enough for the daily commute to work. In contrast, for shopping at the supermarket you will have to seriously limit the number of luggage, and for rides in two, neither can be.
Passing quickly through the no-name segment, we find the model X-others Xindayang Zd, an electric car almost as crowded, but with two seats and almost normal appearance. Looking for more details on the internet, we find that instead of Lithium batteries we have classic Lead-acid batteries, 5-hp engine and unspecified autonomy, which vary depending on the number of batteries slipped in the rear compartment.
 With a higher performance stage, Jonway Coupe Premium Electric Car is a Chinese mini-jeep equipped with 6CP engine and 120Ah Lead Accumulator, which should offer 100Km autonomy, probably not at maximum speed of 45 km / h. Loaded over night (6-7 hours), the model will surely return glances during city walks, even if not for the best reasons.
And more expensive, but absolutely new, we find Aixam City, an electric car for two passengers that can be driven from the age of 16 on a distance of 120 km in constant walking, without sudden acceleration or braking. The battery with unspecified technology has a charging time of 3.5 hours from 0 to 100%, using the normal 220 / 16A socket. The price of 9500 euros is valid with eco-label from the Environmental Fund Administration.
Entering the field of "serious" electric cars, we find the 2011 Nissan LEAF, available with a used price of 9000 euros and a more than reasonable turnover of 70000 km. The promised autonomy of 80-120 km can vary depending on the driving style and the ambient temperature. Of course, this is not even a car for out-of-town walks unless you are in the category of daring people who are not afraid to stay on the side of the road from time to time. In the case of Nissan LEAF, the offer is quite varied, the prices reaching up to 12000 euros, depending on the year of manufacture. Unfortunately, the autonomy offered does not go up too much.
Going back to the model Renaul Zoe with which this material starts, the price of a used copy starts from 13000 euros, valid for a car manufactured in 2015 and equipped with a 22kW battery, which should offer up to 200 km, theoretically. In practice, the driving style and wear of the battery will reduce the distance covered. As an advantage, we have the level of comfort similar to or better than conventional cars in the compact class.
An alternative Renault Zoe might be Opel Ampera available in the used version at the price of 12700 euros, manufactured in 2019 and able to offer a power of up to 150cp for the sprints at the traffic light. The disadvantage – the autonomy of only 70 km in full-electric mode. The advantage – the presence of a gasoline engine that will get you out of trouble.
Is it worth a used electric vehicle?
Given the very rapid evolution of technologies in the electric vehicle segment, probably not. A second-hand electric vehicle produced between 2010-2016 is almost certainly a model from the beginning generation or immediately thereafter, based on insufficiently tested technologies and with high questions of longevity. For example, the first models of Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe are known for their poor thermal management of batteries, their manufacturers only later discovering exactly how vulnerable Li-ion technology is to temperature changes. As for electric cars based on lead batteries, they should not be taken into consideration either, as the technology has far too many limitations in terms of energy storage density and long-term durability.
Given the prices even in the used market, it would probably be wiser to wait for the tightening of the anti-pollution legislation to force the car manufacturers to lower the prices even more. A first step in the right direction could be the purchase of a hybrid powertrain, including Dacia with the plan to launch such a model, with the price hopefully comparable to the current Logan Sandero models. Inevitably, the effect will also be transmitted to the offer of full-electric vehicles, the prices demanded for new vehicles will fall to a level close to the second-hand offers in this segment, as they appear at the beginning of 2020. Under these conditions it is it is unlikely that an electric vehicle purchased second-hand, already worn and of uncertain longevity of the battery, will still allow the investment to recover only from the cost difference related to the price of conventional fuels.