Author Archive

John O'Dell

John O’Dell is a longtime automotive writer, green technology specialist and editor of He previously wrote for and the Los Angeles Times. O’Dell also served as consumer market specialist on the National Research Council committee that authored the report “Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels." His personal fleet consists of a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in-hybrid, a 1965 Mustang coupe, a flat-water kayak and a vintage Peugeot road bike.

Buying a Used Electric Car? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Shoppers often miss great bargains when they overlook the occasional used electric vehicle that pops up during their searches.

Electric cars — whether battery-electric EVs with no gas engine at all, or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) that combine electric drive and internal combustion engines — are still a mystery to most Americans.

Buying a Used Hybrid? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

It would have been rare a few years ago for hybrids to show up on most used-car shopping lists. There weren’t that many in the market, and there wasn’t much choice. Toyota’s hybrids dominated, with gas-electric models from Honda and Ford in distant second and third place. But stuff happens. Things change.

Today there’s a wide selection of used hybrids available, from almost every manufacturer. Because of their often-stellar fuel efficiency, plus the high-end trim and standard equipment levels among many of the more recent models, they are cars – and crossovers, SUVs, and trucks – that most every used-car shopper should consider.