With gas prices through the roof, used car shoppers are turning in droves to used hybrids and electric vehicles. A new study conducted by iSeeCars.com shows that all but one of the top-ten fastest-selling used cars are either battery-electric, plug-in hybrids, or hybrids.
The iSeeCars researchers analyzed more than 150,000 new and used car transactions in March 2022. iSeeCars.com found that both new and used cars took slightly longer to sell in March compared to February. The biggest finding on the used car side was that used vehicles with energy economical powertrains are the most sought after by buyers.
“The surge in gas prices has heightened the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, which include small SUVs, sedans, and hybrids,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Inventory constraints have persisted for new cars due to supply chain issues in Asia and Europe, and the new car market is struggling to keep up with pent-up demand.”
New battery-electric vehicles are making big headlines, but their volume of sales is still tiny. Only Tesla has any medium volume EV models being delivered today. No brand sells a BEV that is being delivered in the volumes as great as market leaders like the RAV4, CR-V, Ford F-150, Silverado, and other high-volume models. Remove the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y from the equation, and the others are simply tiny in sales by any measure. None are maintaining even a 3,000-unit per month run rate. Check out our recent breakdown of EV deliveries for more insight.
iSeeCars found the average used car takes 52.9 days to sell, while the top 20 fastest-selling vehicles average 35.0 days and sell 1.4 to 1.9 times faster than the average used vehicle. The list of twenty fastest-selling used vehicles is dominated by electrified vehicles and includes eight hybrids and five fully-electric vehicles. In the top ten, all but one, the compact Mazda3, is electrified.
The study results should take into account that the volume of many of the models on this list of the fastest-selling used vehicles is extremely low. For example, the Tesla Model X is one of the lowest-volume models ever sold in America. Over the past year, Tesla has barely sold any in the U.S. at all. Thus, the rarity of the model makes its days for sale lower.
However, not all of the models on the top-20 list are low-volume vehicles. The RAV4 Hybrid outsells many mainstream brands’ crossovers of its size, regardless of powertrain, and has sold in volumes greater than 100,000 units per year for years. The Highlander Hybrid does not match that overall pace of sales, but it still sells in much higher volumes than most EVs or hybrids from other brands. Chevy's Volt also makes the list. The Volt was sold for many years and was the top-selling electrified vehicle in America for a long time prior to the Model 3 overtaking it in total units sold.
If any conclusion can be drawn from the iSeeCars.com study it is that Americans have embraced electrified vehicles of all types and are now actively seeking them out. Tell us in the comments below if you think that green vehicles are finally making a meaningful mark in the U.S. auto fleet.
Image of Model X courtesy of Tesla media support. Charts courtesy of iSeeCars.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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