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Electric Vehicles Are Upsetting the Used Car Market - Here's Why

Electric Vehicles have not gone mainstream yet, but the used car market offers a clue to their future.

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Electric vehicles still sell in tiny numbers compared to conventional vehicles but take a peek at the rate at which they sell on the used car market and one may find a clue to their future. EVs are flying off dealer lots and demand is growing. conducted a study that analyzed 2.1 million one- to three-year old used cars of all types to get a handle on how quickly they sell. The group found that the average time to sell was about 34 days. Electric vehicles tend to sell about 50% more quickly.

The Fiat 500e is the fastest-selling used car model. This EV is on and off the lot in just 22 days. The BMW i3 electric car is right behind it with a 23-day turn rate. Six of the top-ten fastest selling used vehicles in the U.S. market are now electric vehicles. The mix contains both plug-in hybrids like the Toyota Prius Plug-in and battery-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf. The BMW i3 is offered in both battery-electric and gasoline engine range-extended versions.

iSeeCars credits lowering prices for EVs and a tight supply as two of the reasons that EVs are suddenly hot commodities. Researcher Phong Ly summed up the used car market, saying, “Vehicles that move off dealer lots faster must have the right mix of demand and supply that may be driven by factors like price, unique features, and performance."

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