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Used EV interest in the U.S. surging for the first time

EV owners who bought a new Ford Mustang Mach-E in late 2021 could have resold it for a $10,000 profit in a matter of months.

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Recurrent recently released its Q3 2022 Used Electric Car Market Report, revealing that price increases for used EVs are now beating the consumer price index for all cars in the U.S. The lack of new and used EV supply leads consumers to either add their names to pre-order wait lists or pay more for used cars today, the company says.

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EVs are increasing in value in the first year, which has led to “car flipping” – much like flipping houses for profit – and a surplus of like-new used cars to meet the demand of eager EV converts. EV owners who purchased a new Ford Mustang Mach-E in late 2021 could have resold it for a profit of $10,000 to $20,000 in a matter of months, a trend that is still visible in the summer of 2022, the company says. Someone who bought a Tesla Model 3 in April 2021 has seen its value appreciate by $19,000 as of July 2022.

“Lots of factors are playing into this interest spike in used electric cars,” said Andrew Garberson, head of marketing at Recurrent. “I don’t expect it to wane anytime soon because many of the contributors – unrelenting gas prices, new car supply shortages and dozens of exciting model releases – are not going to suddenly change, either. Once a secondary market is established, it does not normally disappear.”

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A few additional key findings from the report include:

  • Interest in used EVs is growing. In 2021, 50% of EV shoppers would be interested in a used EV and, just one year later, Recurrent’s latest survey puts that number closer to 80%.
  • Used EV prices will remain high. The supply chain constraints, rising gas prices and equipment shortages all factor into this, and it might take 18 months until production backlogs clear and new facilities come online.
  • Electric truck and SUV sales are breaking records. More people have preordered the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning than all Nissan LEAFs ever sold in the U.S., and the Tesla Model Y crossover SUV is the best-selling EV.
  • The rise of “car flipping” will continue despite attempts to block it. Savvy shoppers are scooping up new EVs and reselling them with low mileage. Restrictions on lease buyouts and vehicle resale will further limit the supply of secondhand EVs in coming years.

As a wave of U.S. drivers shifts from gas to electric motors, Recurrent started a free EV 101 course to educate new and prospective EV owners about how to properly care for their car and its battery, the company says. Over 800 people have already enrolled during the first two months.

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