Since the resurgence of the electric car in the current decade, the used electric car market has been mostly weak aside from the occasional deal. Of course, that’s because it’s still a very small market, but it’s now about to be significantly more active primarily because of leases ending.
You are going to want to keep an eye on the used electric car market in 2017.
When cars come off their lease and go back to the dealership, they rarely sit on the lot. They most often go to wholesale auctions in order for other dealerships to acquire them.
Car dealers have access to those wholesale inventories and it’s a good way to know what they are paying and how the market is evolving.
When looking at current prices for 2013 electric cars, which is a good timing because they would be coming off their 3-year lease about now, it’s clear that we are seeing a significant price drop at the wholesale level.
Someone with access to those auction sites has been posting the current selling price of some EVs (via Jalopnik) and he is seeing the 2013 Tesla Model S going for only $31,000.
What is particularly interesting with the Model S and Tesla is that unlike other automakers, Tesla controls most of the used car market for its vehicles – thanks to its direct sales model. That’s why it’s difficult to get it anywhere else than from the company. These days, it’s hard to get a certified pre-owned, which to be fair comes with a significant new warranty, from Tesla for less than $50,000.
Now, of course, we don’t know the exact conditions of those cars so it’s hard to say how good of a deal they could be, but the Model S is hardly creating the best opportunities for deals in the used car market.
The same used car trader is seeing Fiat 500e going for as low as $4,000:
A brand new Fiat 500e today has a starting price of $31,800. For 3-year old cars with relatively low mileage, those are really good prices for someone looking to dip their toes in electric car ownership with a decent daily driver.
Buyers are not yet seeing those wholesale prices trickle down to the dealers and online listings yet since the 500e still sells for just over $10,000 on the used car market.
But it’s still a good reason to keep your eye out on the market next year.
Electric vehicles started to be produced and delivered in higher volumes in 2013-2014 and therefore, the supply of used cars should start to be significant from those who lease and change vehicle every ~3 years.