Plug-In Vehicles Among Fastest Selling On Used Car Market



BMW i3

Buying a used plug-in car is a stellar idea and recent analysis shows that a substantial number of consumers have received the memo.

Used-car website conducted a recent study of over 2.1 million used vehicles sold (all within one to three years old). It was found that six out of 10 of these vehicles that sold the fastest were plug-in cars. Not surprisingly, the Fiat 500e topped the list. We reported a while back about these Fiats being practically given away in terms of discount pricing.


Nissan LEAF

The research shows that the Fiat 500e sells in an average of 22.2 days from the time it’s put on the market.

An average used car takes 33.4 days to sell, according to the study. Keep in mind that these 500es are only available in two states when they’re sold new; California and Oregon. Demand and pricing play a key role in the study’s results. iSeeCars notes that the average selling price for these used Fiats is $9,055. The website’s CEO, Phong Ly, shared with Forbes:

“Prices for hybrids, plug-ins, and electric vehicles are more affordable than ever, so shoppers who are ready to buy one should act fast because these cars are in great demand now.”

The Fiat 500e is not the only plug-in making major traction in the used car market, however. It’s joined on the list by the BMW i3, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Nissan LEAF, Ford Fusion Energi, and Tesla Model S. The Model S doesn’t make the top ten list though due to its much higher price tag. According to, a 2015 Model S sells for an average of $58,700, which is almost exactly 6.5 times more than the used 500e. Ly pointed out:

“Tesla’s popularity, along with the scarcity of the Model S on the used car market, is probably driving prices up while cars continue to sell quickly.”


2015 Tesla Model S

Few ICE cars make the list of top sellers in the current used car market. Those that do are limited to sports cars, luxury vehicles, and high-demand or “specialized” type models. Ly continued:

“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.”

In the end, pricing seems to remain one of the biggest factors in moving used cars quickly, and plug-in vehicles are often priced to sell. Ly mentioned that top-selling models (when they’re new) like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500 all tend to hang out on used car lots longer than the typical 33.4 days.

“The more expensive SUVs and trucks all take more than 33 days to sell, compared to the cheaper sedans, again illustrating the effect of price on moving cars off of dealers’ lots.”

Though used plug-in vehicles are not easy to find, if you can find one, it’s likely going to be priced to move and well worth the time searching, and certainly a wise purchase choice.

Source: Forbes

Categories: BMW, Fiat, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota

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22 Comments on "Plug-In Vehicles Among Fastest Selling On Used Car Market"

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what about the bmw i3 battery upgrade in north america??

Keep in mind that the 500e is now showing up in other states for sale on the used market. I just bought a really nice one here in Texas for $8,000 as a 3rd EV for our family. The dealer I bought it from had 15 of them on the lot.

Where at?

I bought mine at Essence Maserati Alfa Romeo. They are located in Hurst, TX. However, if you look on you’ll find other places selling them too.

Will they or anyone else in Texas be able to service/repair it if the powertrain breaks down or needs service? I presume that none of the local Fiat dealership’s mechanics have taken training courses on the 500 EV, since they’re not sold as new cars in the state.

I called several Fiat dealers in the area before buying and two of them said they were certified. I suspect it has to do with the upcoming Pacifica hybrid.

Good to know. I need a very small car as a 3rd car for very small city street parking spaces. Aside from the Smart ED, only the Fiat 500 EV fits the bill. I’ll have to call around to some local Fiat dealers and ask if they’ll service the 500 EV.

Have you considered a Nissan Leaf? I own 2 Nissan Leaf’s and while they are somewhat larger than the Fiat 500E, they are surprisingly nimble to park. I have driven a Fiat 500E and I personally don’t find it really any easier to park than the Leaf. Additionally, the Leaf is much more readily available for purchase at about the same cost. Just my experience, YMMV.

I used to own a Nissan Leaf. Since I live in Texas, the battery degradation was unacceptable. And while I could buy a used Leaf for around the same price as the Fiat 500e, at least the 500e has a liquid cooled battery pack. I 2012 Leaf from this area would probably have about 65 miles of range on it by now. The 500e I got is a 2014 model and still seems to have almost all of it’s 86 miles of EV range.

Just F.Y.I, I’m very familiar with the battery degradation on the first generation Leaf batteries. I realize they still don’t use the cooling like many others do but somehow the newer batteries are retaining capacity extremely well. I am in San Antonio TX and had a 2015 Leaf for 3 years and put 34,000 miles on it. Before I turned it in at lease end, I checked the battery with LeafSpy and had almost no capacity loss. I currently have a 2011 and a 2012, both of which now have new batteries replaced under warranty. The new batteries are the most recent revision 24Kwh batteries. The battery in the 2012 is now 1 year old and still checks nearly identical as when it was brand new. A used 2015 Leaf or newer would be the best to insure getting the 3rd generation battery. 2015’s are generally only $1,000 or $2,000 more than an earlier model. At this point I would not buy another 2011 or 2012 unless it already has a new battery or I could get it for about $3,000.

CARVANA is probably the best choice. They frequently have Fiat 500E’s but you have to check daily, they sell very quickly. I personally know 5 people who have bought cars from CARVANA and they are all very satisfied with the experience.

Yes, after seeing a 500e here in Allentown, PA I took a look and a dealership in Montgomeryville sells them as CPO. I think that is s clever thing that Fiat dealers are doing, and I wish Volkswagen and Kia did the same with their compliance cars.

CARVANA is buying many EV’s from states where the cars are popular and then selling them nationwide. They often have Fiat 500E for less than $8,000. They are selling Nissan Leaf’s just about as fast as they can get them listed. Check It Out For Yourself. And F.Y.I, I do not work for CARVANA, I am just very happy to see a used car retailer who is helping people all over the country to get an EV they want at an affordable price.

Used EVs in southern California seem to sell well.

Of course, if the ignorant petrol-heads who run so many dealerships get wind of this, maybe they’ll start raising prices on their used EVs.

SparkEV being ahead of the curve, it’s already happening. Used SparkEV prices are through the roof, especially the ones with DCFC. I shouldn’t have said how awesome the car is…

15 used Spark EVs for sale in L.A. versus 180 BMW i3. I make no conclusions just an observation.

Already happening. Used Nissan Leaf prices in many states have actually increased about $2,000 over the last 4 or 5 months.

Hmm, that’s good news. I’m tempted to sell mine and get into an Ioniq…

Good luck actually finding an Ioniq. It seems there are very few available.

Focus Electrics too. Last year when I thought about buying one they were $10,000 used. Now I see them for $12,000.

(Ended up buying a C-Max Energi because we’re a one-car family and we weren’t sure we were ready to go full EV.)

Out of 26 used Focus EVs listed in L.A. only 4 are less than $10,000.