“EVs are the future” was how the lovely chap who sold us his Hyundai Ioniq described his transition to owning too many EVs. After admitting that one of the cars had to go, we were lucky enough to pick up the Ioniq on the secondhand market.
At first, we considered a secondhand hybrid, like a Corolla, Camry, or something similarly exciting. Then our thinking shifted to encouraging the adoption of non-planet destroying vehicles. So, we swallowed our nervousness about spending money on a rapidly depreciating asset and looked at new vehicles.
Oh. The car yards don’t have any in stock. Oh. You have to order them. Oh. Delivery will be in 3-5 months. Maybe. Terms and conditions apply. Especially the one about no guarantee on that delivery time.
Three to five months? We wanted to start saving the planet now.
That’s when our friend mentioned they knew of someone thinking of selling their EV. So we bought our new enough Hyundai Ioniq from a friend of a friend.
Now, before you start saying that buying stuff from a friend of a friend is something you do with drugs not cars, I will point out that I don’t have those sorts of friends. Hit me up in the comments if you’d like to rectify that situation.
Anyone who has been through a private sale will know how the process goes. You check that the car isn’t currently on fire, take the car for a test drive, talk a bit about cars, discuss price, fill out the paperwork, and then hand over a huge wad of cash like you’re buying drugs. Not that I’d know anything about that.
The main difference with our purchase was the test drive. The mantra around “the best way to convert people to EVs is to let them drive one” seems to still apply to people about to buy one. We didn’t just get to drive the Ioniq, we had a drive of the owner’s other cars, including their pride and joy Tesla. Sidenote, Tesla’s don’t J-turn that well.
Driving an EV has been an interesting adjustment. Not having to use brakes is great. The continuous acceleration and power without that gear change or rev-matching is enjoyable. As is the quiet driving experience.
Our Ioniq is the premium edition, so it comes with several other features that make it a joy to drive. It also does zero to one hundred in who gives a @#$% and has heated and cooled seats. Not a feature I’d have ever bothered with on a spec sheet, but now can’t imagine having a car without it.
We were fortunate to have a friend of a friend. The secondhand EV market is not dissimilar to the new market. The supply just isn’t there.
Well, unless we can figure out a way to have the Federal Government subsidise EVs the way they do tradie utes. Maybe pay Scott Cam six-figures to drive an EV? And this is important, as most people will be introduced to EV ownership through the secondhand market.
Since we’ve owned the Ioniq we get all the usual questions. What they are like? How far can they drive? How long do they take to charge?
Can our small car tow a massive caravan and boat uphill at 150km/h non-stop for a week while solving a Rubik’s Cube and mining Bitcoin? But being secondhand, we also get the question about battery life and how long the car will last.
Charging the battery at home has been a revelation, and we have certainly not missed visiting the petrol station for the weekly fume sniffing exercise.
We installed a Zappi and mostly charge from our solar panels. We expected a shock power bill but obviously the pittance we’re being paid for feeding into the grid was better spent in charging our car and we’ve seen no rise in our bill.
And instead of range anxiety, can we talk about fuel cost anxiety? We have not missed trying to match our refilling to the cheap day – that is preferably not pissing down with rain. With unleaded over $1.70/L in Perth at the moment, picking that cheap day is something … other people can worry about. Sucks to be them.
The recent service was an eye-opener. It was so cheap for the dealership to put it on the hoist for an hour while they checked the windscreen wiper fluid and polished the Hyundai badge. As the technician said to me afterwards: “There’s just not enough moving parts in them for anything to go wrong.”
Compared to our old ICE vehicle the Ioniq replaced, maintenance on a secondhand EV comes in at a fraction of the cost. And this is compared to a 20-year-old Ford Falcon which are relatively inexpensive to maintain. The main reason for that being that parts for a Falcon can be easily found in front yards and on roadsides nationwide.
Mileage – shouldn’t we call that kilometrage in Australia? – is pretty impressive in the Ioniq. The sports car-like drag coefficient, the regen braking that we keep at the highest level, and the great motor, means that even at highway speeds for long distances we battle to use more than 14kWh/100km. Our lowest usage was 1.4kWh/100km which our trip computer assures me isn’t a mistake. And computers wouldn’t lie to us, would they?
Over the few thousand kilometres we’ve driven so far, the average usage is 11.97kWh/100km. This means our real-world experience with lots of hills and half our trips at highway speeds gets us 320km range from the 38kWh battery. Still bang on what Hyundai says it will do new.
EVs are the future – alongside a larger public transportation network and increased commuter cycling – and they are an excellent secondhand buy.
Tyson Adams is a scientist, writer, and satirist, sometimes in that order. He doesn’t like to brag, especially in the third person, but he has a couple of science degrees, is married with a son and a daughter, and is a vocal proponent of renewable energies and making the world better. He owns 0 shares of Tesla.