Ecalvin
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:09 pm

When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:24 pm

Am planning on buying a Spark EV and live in So Cal where there seem to be plenty on the market. I'm prioritizing finding one with the fast charging option, but beyond that I wonder if low miles is the most important thing to look for in terms of low battery degradation and resale value down the road. So, would I be better off with a 2014 with low miles than a 2015 with higher miles? If low miles is the key, it seems a 2014 with low miles would be the better deal...I guess I'm wondering if mileage is more significant of a factor than the year of the car for EVs than it is for gas engine cars.
I realize the devil is in the details here but would love to hear people's thoughts on this.

NORTON
Posts: 1240
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:55 am

'14 2LT w/DCFC here.
33.5 K miles, bought it used with 3300 miles almost 2 yrs ago.
Started logging battery degradation, (thanks to this forum !) mid '16.
I have a range of 19.6 kWh to 17.4 kWh over that time, and yet only a slight trend. More logs at the lower end, but there could be seasonal changes that I haven't seen yet.
The Cap is always fluctuating according to my logs, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly.
I don't know what to make of it. I just say: Time will Tell.

That's a report on my experience.
Sorry I can't answer your detailed question.
I'd shoot for the lowest dollar car you find...

Here's my suggestion:

Avoid car salesmen. They are the worst. Look at any career surveys. :|
When you buy from them you are paying ? $1-3 k more than the car sold for.

Do you know about 'searchtempest' ? It allows you to search craigslist in any radius from your location.
You might find an individual selling that way, maybe. Dealers use CL too.

Good luck. You won't be sorry!
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +71 K miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 2nd guess not covered by warranty and cost $800. 3rd guess fixed the problem.

SparkevBlogspot
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 12:19 pm

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:57 am

There's no set formula on year vs miles. What's important is how much battery capacity it has, because heavily abused would have much lower capacity even with newer year and low miles. Worst abuse would be charging it to 100%, disconnect from charging, let it sit under 100F+ degree heat day after day. This could happen for many months a year in hot parts of CA, such as Palm Springs.

If the dealer (or used car lot) had it charged to 100% and let it sit under the sun like they do with gassers, that would be an example of abuse. Another is an owner who charges to full, disconnect, then goes away for days/weeks frequently and let the car sit in hot temperature (ie, summer vacations).

To determine capacity, you have to charge to 100%, then drive for about 50% (about 30 miles at 70 MPH). Energy screen on center display will show you % used and kWh used since last charged to full 100%. Divide kWh by % to estimate full battery capacity. You can do it with fewer miles/%, but that will give less accurate answer, and more miles/% more accurate.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 993
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:27 pm

SparkevBlogspot wrote:There's no set formula on year vs miles. What's important is how much battery capacity it has, because heavily abused would have much lower capacity even with newer year and low miles. Worst abuse would be charging it to 100%, disconnect from charging, let it sit under 100F+ degree heat day after day. This could happen for many months a year in hot parts of CA, such as Palm Springs.

If the dealer (or used car lot) had it charged to 100% and let it sit under the sun like they do with gassers, that would be an example of abuse. Another is an owner who charges to full, disconnect, then goes away for days/weeks frequently and let the car sit in hot temperature (ie, summer vacations).

To determine capacity, you have to charge to 100%, then drive for about 50% (about 30 miles at 70 MPH). Energy screen on center display will show you % used and kWh used since last charged to full 100%. Divide kWh by % to estimate full battery capacity. You can do it with fewer miles/%, but that will give less accurate answer, and more miles/% more accurate.
Here are my average monthly results using the method outlined above:

2014 Spark EV 2 LT no DCFC
Mar 2016: 18.94 kWh, 106 mile range.
Mar 2017: 17.34 kWh, 99 mile range.
5400 miles covered Mar 16 through Mar 17. March 2017 Ending ODO was 9,829 miles.

2015 Spark EV 2LT with DCFC
Mar 2016: 17.39 kWh, 100 mile range
Mar 2017: 17.10 kWh, 98 mile range
8400 miles covered Mar 2016 through Mar 2017. March 2017 ending ODO was 16,813 miles.

All of my data shows the battery in the 2014 Spark EV is degrading faster than the 2015.

My suggestion would be to find a 2015 Spark EV 2LT with DCFC that is low mileage and is clean.

Note: I have no intention of getting rid of my 2014. Rather, when the battery degrades to the point where it impacts my ability to get to my local destinations, I will just have the battery pack replaced. The car has been problem-free and is more fun than I have had in a vehicle for many decades. The 2015 has been trouble-free too and is also just as much fun to drive. Personally, I think Chevy made a BIG mistake by not keeping the Spark EV in production. It can't be beat for local in-town use and is much more electrically efficient than the Bolt.

NORTON
Posts: 1240
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:12 am

MrDRMorgan wrote:..... Personally, I think Chevy made a BIG mistake by not keeping the Spark EV in production. It can't be beat for local in-town use and is much more electrically efficient than the Bolt.
I 2nd this !!!

Not everyone needs a 238 mile range BEV (Bolt). Most of the time you are hauling around a heavy battery pack that you rarely use.
Not everyone is in the mood to spend +$36k on a new car.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +71 K miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 2nd guess not covered by warranty and cost $800. 3rd guess fixed the problem.

evboy
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:05 am

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:47 am

i would buy whatever is the best deal based on kbb private party. i bought mine at Fair value from a dealer. the prices are all over the map on autotrader. buy a 2014 2015 or 2016 based on price. They get desperate and eventually cut the price alot. these cars dont sell well, so you have the upperhand. I saw a sweet lime green 2015 a couple weeks ago. they lowered it to 10k from 14k with only 4900 miles. it was a steal. it sold quick, so u have to check everyday and pounce on it. i bought a 2014 with 4100 miles for 9k. that was the best deal on autotrader at the time. i would forget buying from a private owner. there are very few on craigslist and they ask more than the dealers. usually dealers are more expensive than private but when it comes to these cars i found the dealers had some good deals because they get good deals from trade ins and auction. avoid carmax. they are always overpriced.

I just checked autotrader for you. there are two 2016 sparke for under 12k. thats your best deal on there. u cant get that from a private owner. This 2016 is sweet looking: http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... ode1=SPARK

SparkSS
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:00 pm

I've been looking for a while, and am in no hurry. I tend to agree with the last few posts. Chevy "should" have continued with the Spark EV, with a bump to the battery capacity. As it is, "nobody" seems to want these poor orphaned off-lease vehicles, which should lead to some real bargains.

In general, non-EV people seem to be terrified of the range, and EV lovers want the latest gadget. It's a good time for a bargain hunter who doesn't have an agenda.

At this point, $8k seems to be the breaking point for under-30k 2014 units. I expect prices to continue to drop. At this point, I'm only even considering dealer cars, and am leaning heavily towards CPO. I'll probably try to pick one up in the next 6 months, or wait another year for the flood (well, big trickle) of 2015's coming off lease.

I'm shooting for $7500 out-the-door, under 25k miles, CPO. Still debating on DCFC. So far, no dealers seem to be quite that hungry.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 993
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:28 pm

evboy wrote:i would buy whatever is the best deal based on kbb private party. i bought mine at Fair value from a dealer. the prices are all over the map on autotrader. buy a 2014 2015 or 2016 based on price. They get desperate and eventually cut the price alot. these cars dont sell well, so you have the upperhand. I saw a sweet lime green 2015 a couple weeks ago. they lowered it to 10k from 14k with only 4900 miles. it was a steal. it sold quick, so u have to check everyday and pounce on it. i bought a 2014 with 4100 miles for 9k. that was the best deal on autotrader at the time. i would forget buying from a private owner. there are very few on craigslist and they ask more than the dealers. usually dealers are more expensive than private but when it comes to these cars i found the dealers had some good deals because they get good deals from trade ins and auction. avoid carmax. they are always overpriced.

I just checked autotrader for you. there are two 2016 sparke for under 12k. thats your best deal on there. u cant get that from a private owner. This 2016 is sweet looking: http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... ode1=SPARK
If I was in Anaheim, CA, I would be giving this Sparkie a real close look [as long as the windows had not been tinted]. $11990 for a 2016 model with only 6700 miles? I believe the 2016 models also came with DCFC as standard.

jsca72
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:55 am
Location: Central Coast, California

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:26 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:
..... Personally, I think Chevy made a BIG mistake by not keeping the Spark EV in production. It can't be beat for local in-town use and is much more electrically efficient than the Bolt.

I 2nd this !!!

Not everyone needs a 238 mile range BEV (Bolt). Most of the time you are hauling around a heavy battery pack that you rarely use.
Not everyone is in the mood to spend +$36k on a new car.
I have to 3rd this!!

I'm still adore my little 2014 Spark EV, and it doesn't have DCFC! I charge at home. I drive into my garage, plug-in, and forget about it. I don't want to deal with public chargers.

For those of you who are looking for a little Sparkie, if you are going to be charging at home, don't overlook the Sparks which do not have DCFC. You'll probably get a great deal on these little gems.

Jedi2155
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 am
Location: SoCal

Re: When buying a used Spark... is mileage the thing?

Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:55 am

I can say that for the 2014 model, mileage has little to do with battery degradation than calendar life/temperature/abuse. I'm not sure about the degradation on the 2015 LG Chem pack as there is not as much data on it, but I do like that my A123 pack has very little "cycle life degradation."

What others here have said are generally true. I'm looking to sell my Spark EV (in LA/Orange/San Bernadino county area) just in case you are interested, but it does not offer the DCFC that you desire. Probably one of the reasons why I'm getting rid of it too because of my range needs has increased since getting married (wife wants to visit places, who knew?!).
Tesla Model 3 Performance (9/28) | Blue | White Seats | 20" | Full Self Driving
2014 Spark EV 2LT - Summit White - Sold as of 8/11/18
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/6330
My previous 2012 Volt
http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578

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