Jump to content
   
Sign in to follow this  
RobertA

Need advice on buying a all electric Transit

Recommended Posts

I am looking at a 2012 extremely clean all electric transit in my area. It has 11,000 miles on it. Runs well but my worries are that since the company went belly up who built the system. I won't be able to get parts for it. Some simple could wind up leaving me with a pile of scrap metal. I'm very interested in hearing anyone's thoughts on service and how long I can expect the vehicle''s battery's to last. Also, is there a replacement battery pack for them. Please advise. Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

I have 3 electric cars  -  Two 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV's and a 2017 Chevy Volt

 

Bought the first Mitsu new 6 years ago in May of 2012 for $30K less the government $7.5K tax credit.  Bought the second one two years later when it came off lease for $8700 . . . . and it had just 3,900 miles on it  -  The second one had all the bells and whistles and a sticker of $34K when it was new.  This shows the alarming depreciation many EV's face as soon as you drive them off the lot.  Both these cars were still supported by the factory, with a 10 year, 100K battery warranty as well as extended warranties on the EV drive system

 

The Ford Transit Connect EV was never really a 'Ford' as they never warrantied any part of it  -  It was Azure Dynamics baby right from the start.  The $57.5K sticker meant there weren't going to be many private owners  -  It was aimed at business fleets.  With a 28 Kw battery giving you 50 to 75 miles of range, you would have to put 200K or more on it to recoup the difference in price from the ICE version  -  You almost could have bought 3 trucks from Ford for the price of one electric one

 

Should you buy this one?  That depends on what you can do with it and what they want for it.  Replacing the battery would be cost prohibitive, but Lithium EV batteries can last a very long time, depending on the software and how easy or hard on the battery it allows the vehicle to be.  I suspect the Transit is pretty conservative, as it gets about the same range from 28Kw of battery as our Mitsu's get from just 16Kw.  I personally wouldn't be too worried about the battery, but there could be other parts of it that might cause problems later on  -  Azure Dynamics built the entire drive train

 

If I had a small business which could make good use of a vehicle able to do 50 or 60 miles each day *and* I could buy the vehicle for $10K or less, I would probably take a chance on it . . . . but you are very correct that it's a gamble and that any major fault could leave you with some very expensive scrap metal  -  Oh, you could sell the battery bank to someone wanting to build their own EV and get maybe half your money back  -  You could probably sell the whole van in not running condition and get most of your money back . . . . assuming you found the 'right' buyer and you didn't pay more than $10K for it when you bought it

 

If they're asking more than $10K, I don't think they're going to find many buyers.  If Azure was still in business and if it had a warranty still in effect for a few more years, it *might* be worth $15K, but as it is now, it's a real gamble  -  If the price is 'right' it might be a gamble worth taking, but it all depends on your needs and the asking price, IMO

 

Our Mitsubishi's have been completely problem free (other than 3 factory recalls) for 6 years now and we're really glad we bought them both.  Hopefully we'll still be driving them 6 or 8 years from now  -  There won't be ANY warranty by then, but we'll have got our value from then by then too

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Azure went out of business for warranty purposes in 2012 .  The  factory support is not going to be there .

If the TC's  operational  parameters meet your need, then the Question of the day is Do you feel lucky!!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The battery is a fairly well understood part and possible could be retrofitted if it failed.  The electric motor I would expect to be quite reliable as well.  The power electronics and the controls for them would be a major question mark.  To me bigger questions are stuff like how do the AC and heater work?  Is it a heat pump like the Leaf or does it heat water like the Volt?  Depending on the source those could be problem areas in a 6 year old car.  Stuff like radiators (if it has them) are not so much of an issue.  Battery in my Volt has been perfect but do know that it only uses the capacity between 20% and 80% and it is heated and cooled.  That would be my base line and I'd compare the TC EV battery life expectancy to that.  A good check would be the range on a moderate (60 degree F) day now versus when new.  

 

Totally agree with GBL's question!  If it is cheap enough then I'd look at the residual value with a failed battery or electronics and that would be my value at risk.  There are folks around who like to tinker with electric vehicles and a descent system would be of some value to them.  I'm not familiar with Azure but did see their parts and other assets were bought by someone else in 2012.  If it's super cheap and you really like the EV drive the I'd say go for it.  If it's in the same price range as a used 2012 then I'd run.

 

Edit:  please keep us updated on your decision and if possible some photos would be nice.

Edited by PhotoAl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×