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Want to Sell That Electric Car? Here's What to Consider

A quick reference guide for selling your used plug-in vehicle.

By David Ross

New EV sales figures for 2014 are low, with only 32,990 sold in January 2014 and 37,606 in February, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Administration. These figures are weaker than any month of electric vehicle sales figures from 2013. For current EV owners, the slowed demand may signal a shift toward increased interest in used electric vehicles, which offer lowered entry price points for those who may be otherwise priced out of the market. If you have an electric vehicle and would consider reselling, learning who is interested in buying a used EV can help you.

Target market for used EVs

A used EV like the Nissan Leaf, which has an EPA rating of 73 miles, is ideal for people with short commutes, or who rarely take long road trips. It would make a good second car for a working parent or a commuter car for someone only driving to the next town. For someone regularly driving across state, the need (and time spent) to stop and charge the EV would negate cost savings and convenience. Knowing who to target can help you set prices for your EV and identify ways to sell using local community resources.

Types of EVs

Not all EVs are created equal when it comes to resale value, according to research by Kelley Blue Book for USA Today. Electric-only vehicles are projected to show the most depreciation, the report found. Examples include the Ford Focus Electric and the Chevrolet Spark EV. If you have a hybrid, or a plug-in model EV with a hybrid engine, used car drivers are more likely to appreciate this flexibility and to pay a higher price. A plug-in Prius or a Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid is likely to have a resale value that is nearly equivalent to a comparable non-electric car of the same make.

Tips for sellers

One major game changer may come when the present tax credit for buying a new EV expires. Since new EV buyers receive a $7,500 federal tax credit on the price of an electric vehicle, many may opt for a higher retail price over a used EV and a tax credit that bridges much of the difference. With no tax credit, buyers who want electric technology will view used EVs as much more attractive. You might want to wait it out and realize a higher resale value on your EV. Since this tax credit is not set to phase out until a given EV has sold 200,000 units, there is no firm expiry date on the EV tax credit.

If you are hoping to sell now, detailing your EV to make it more attractive and number-crunching to determine average monthly expense of charging your EV will help attract serious buyers and convince them to take the leap and become an EV owner.

Times Article Viewed: 3396
Published: 06-Apr-2014


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