Many readers are surprised and worried to find on sale a significant number of electric cars sold used with few kilometers. They are not far from 2,000 on LeBonCoin to total less than 5,000 km currently. Why this situation?
The famous sanction car
Electric cars marketed between 1995 and 2005, equipped with NiCd batteries, were mainly used in large companies and administrations.
Little punchy, with a range most of the time less than 100 km in summer and barely more than half in winter when they catch cold on board (except models with gasoline heating), they represented neither a honor, nor an advantage, for those who received the keys.
On the contrary, being given an electric car at the time was regularly seen as a sanction: impossible to drive fast, to go far, etc. After 5 years, and even 10, specimens totaling more than 20,000 km were exceptions. These low numbers betrayed a real problem with the hip generation of the day.
And today ?
On September 9, 2020, at 4:00 p.m., there were exactly 1,842 electric cars, out of a total of 6,948 for sale on the LeBonCoin site, which emerged with less than 5,000 km on the clock. That is 1 low-mileage EV for 3.77 offered for purchase.
For comparison, the hybrids are 4,020 out of 16,506 to display such a reduced total (1 to 4.1). This rate is 1 to 7.6 (37,982 / 289,416) with gasoline engines and 1 to 17 (26,789 / 456,513) with diesels kept longer.
Also according to the announcements published on the same website, are over 10 years old 107,522 petrol cars, 174,386 diesel, but only 26 electric (15 in reality after verification, including 6 models without a license, and probably the Clio electric 1996 d ‘a former minister identifiable by its metallic blue and leather interior).
These figures show that there is no one phenomenon specific to connected technology.
To promote their new electric models, several manufacturers have required dealers to have one or more demonstration copies on site, which will be kept for a maximum of 3 to 12 months. They can then be resold, most often with few kilometers on the clock.
Remember the influx of Renault Twizys in 2012 or 2013. Le Losange had imposed on Z.E. to present at least one on site. Most found their way into the second-hand market at the same time.
This brand alone now has 550 dealers who have in their windows a Zoe soon to be sold with few kilometers. Currently, 500 copies of the versatile electric diamond, with less than 5,000 km on the clock, are for sale on LeBonCoin. Or almost one per concession!
For comparison, they are next to virtually a hundred Peugeot e-208s and around fifty Opel Corsa-e which have promoted these models more recently arrived on the market. The 27 Citroën-Bolloré e-Méhari, on the other hand, are the expression of a commercial flop.
At PSA, rebadged Japanese city cars (Mitsubishi i-MiEV base) often spent more than a year in dealerships, swapping their role of test vehicle for that of courtesy car lent to customers while their own gear.
There are 53 Peugeot iOn and 85 Citroën C-Zero. Some, put into service well before 2019, are still covered with their “Test vehicle” stickers. They have been used very irregularly, for rather short journeys, and often stored in a corner.
Electricians are not the only ones to know this fate. Our colleagues from Auto Plus reported last month the exceptional sale by a Fiat dealership in Germany of a 1996 Uno with 900 km on the clock. “This is a demonstration car in absolutely new condition! As proof, there are still the protective plastic films on the back seat and the floor “, marvels the editorial staff.
And then, still on LeBonCoin, there is this Nissan Leaf 2 in Acenta finish from February 2020 sold with 10 kilometers on the clock due to Covid. Not sure it’s a good deal even at 25,000 euros, with a battery that hasn’t worked for 6 months, especially if the car has been stored with the pack fully charged.
This particular case hides behind all the demonstration cars that have hardly moved due to the closure of concessions, due to containment, between mid-March and mid-May.
They have since become authorized for resale on the second-hand market with even less than usual fulfilling their role as a test unit. Before you fall for one of them, you will have to make sure that the autonomy is still there. For the most part, that will be the case.