Plug-in Vehicles Continuing To See Soft Used Car Prices

Used car prices for electric cars continue to show signs of a soft market and loss for plug-in vehicle owners.

InsideEVs had reported last month that off-lease and trade-in EVs were showing signs of “dirt cheap prices.” The Fiat 500e was auctioning as low as $4,000, and a few Tesla Model S vehicles are selling as low as $30,000.

U.S. News & World Report confirmed that price downturn after doing some research on used car price ranges for several plug-in electrified vehicles on the market, which InsideEVs presented in a table:

  • 2016 Fiat 500e:  $6,333-$8,022
  • 2013 Smart Fortwo ED:  $10,619-$11,355
  • 2011-2013 Chevrolet Volt: $12,398-$18,422
  • 2012-2013 Nissan LEAF:  $13,896-$16,749
  • 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf:  $15,845-$18,652
  • 2015 Kia  Soul EV:  $18,345-$21,512
  • 2013-2015 Ford Focus Electric:  $20,717-$24,475
  • 2014 BMW i3:  $27,003-$30,287
  • 2013-2014 Tesla Model S:  $42,192-$57,403


Car buyers are tapping in to $7,500 federal tax incentives and rebates in several states for PEV purchases; and lease rates have highly competitive and cheap during sales seasons in recent years. That hasn’t helped their used car prices.

Automotive analysts covering used vehicle valuation have been warning about this market trend in recent years. Low gasoline prices have been behind it, with hybrid vehicles seeing an even bigger impact in used vehicle values and new vehicle sales than plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. The generous government incentives and lease deals, along with PEVs being a relatively new vehicle technology, have hurt their used prices, according to market reports.

SEE ALSO:  NADA Used Car Guide Sees Electrics Gaining Ground Over Hybrids in Sales

Used vehicle prices do vary by several market forces in all areas of the country, and some vehicles have been doing much better than others. Fiat has been offering ultra-cheap used car deals. Tesla has been known to see strong results for the Model S on the pre-owned market. Offering lifetime free supercharging on the older models is attractive, as is over-the-air software updates, according to InsideEVs.

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