In some circles electric cars might still be chic, but for many Americans they’re a social faux pas like veganism or CrossFit. After all, the joke is you don’t ever have to ask who drives an EV since they’ll tell you all about it, whether or not you asked. That might not be the driving force behind why used electric vehicle values have absolutely plummeted in the past year, but it can’t be helping.
While used car prices in general continue to decrease, with iSeeCars measuring a 5.1% decline in overall values and the Manheim Used Vehicle Index measuring a 5.8% drop, when it comes to used EVs the picture is far more shocking.
According to iSeeCars’ analysis of sales data, used electric car prices have plummeted 33.7% clearly showing that the secondary market isn’t favoring them much these days. The company’s market analysis concluded that used EVs take about three times as long to sell now as they did a year ago. What’s more, iSeeCars found Teslas experienced some of the largest price drops for different model lines.
So why all the hate for EVs? One might claim it’s consumers’ fear of replacing the battery in a used electric car, although iSeeCars found that seven of the top ten fastest-selling cars are hybrids. While their batteries might not be as large, clearly consumers aren’t as concerned about bearing that potential cost.
Other theories for why used EV demand has fallen off a cliff includes Tesla’s aggressive price slashing. Plenty of people considering an electric car made the jump when prices hit a point they couldn’t resist, probably removing them from the used market. And it’s possible some EV owners decided to ditch their current ride to get a new Tesla or something from rival brands, some of whom tried matching the aggressive pricing strategy.
In turn, just about everyone who was interested in an EV might have pulled the trigger. That leaves people weary of EVs constituting the vast majority of the used marketplace. While EV advocates would say the solution is to educate consumers better, recent cases of electric car battery replacement costs being published online seems to have educated plenty about the true cost ownership. That right there is enough to crater demand for secondhand Teslas and such.
But one has to ask if all this is true, why aren’t hybrids perceived in the same way? That brings in another factor: practicality. With a hybrid, owners can stop at one of dozens of fuel stations conveniently located all over their city. That helps quell range anxiety. Plus, many hybrids boast better driving range than their pure ICE equivalents, giving owners the best of both worlds.
Whatever the ultimate cause(s), it’s apparent hybrids are far more in demand than EVs, at least for now.
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