ACV facts & figures
The dramatic increase in car prices and the lack of inventory in new cars over the past two years have caused droves of consumers to turn to used cars. While the fastest-selling used car model can fluctuate monthly, the trends remain.
With laws changing and consumers eyeing the future, many automakers have made commitments for electric prospects, so the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) has increased. It’s clear that used hybrid and electric vehicles are in high demand.
Electric car buying is no longer limited to the wealthy, and there’s a range of options from more affordable commuter cars to luxury EVs. Electric car prices have changed so that a wide range of your customers can find something they’re sure to love. But new EVs might be less affordable than used ones, particularly for middle-class and working-class consumers.
Because of these factors, it might be time to consider stocking more used EV cars, and EV auctions are a great way to make this happen. Prices for these have increased, too though — over 25% since Q1 2021. So it’s essential to be well-informed and buy the cars that have the best chance of helping you increase your revenue.
Most of your customers want the longest range for their dollar, so people are looking for good deals on quality EVs. Your customers may also be increasingly aware that, with high gas prices, EV ownership can be cheaper than gas car ownership, especially in the long term.
What Are The Best Used Electric Cars on The Market?
Though the best cars for your dealership depend on what your customers are looking for, the ones listed here can be great choices. In particular, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric are available on the used car market at a significant discount compared to new models. For customers seeking commuter cars, there are some great short-range used cars available for under $20,000. And for those seeking luxury cars, there are fantastic high-end offerings from Tesla, Audi, and Jaguar.
So, are electric cars worth it for your business? If you can stock them, yes. They present a huge opportunity. If you can add some of these EVs to your inventory, the opportunity to increase your revenue is significant. Here’s your guide to the best electric cars to buy used.
Best Used EVs Under $20,000
For customers looking for a reliable hatchback EV for driving short distances, a 2015 VW e-Golf might do the trick. A model from 2015 is likely to have a 50-mile range and charges relatively quickly—under 4 hours to charge at 220V. Newer models are likely to have closer to the ideal-state 83-mile range, so depending on budget, customers have some leeway. The e-Golf is also relatively easy to maintain. Plus, many people enjoy its aesthetics and how it drives.
The Nissan Leaf is another popular commuter EV option. With an EPA range of 84 miles, the price is often quite reasonable for people looking for an affordable EV for their commute. The practical range is often closer to 60-70 miles, depending on the age of the Leaf and how it’s been stored. So, it’s a good idea to check out the vehicle history to ensure the battery is in good shape.
Though it has an electric range of 81 miles when new, the i3 is another popular commuter option. There is a model available with a range extender (REX), plus people love the braking, acceleration, visibility, and overall handling. Depending on the model year, the range can vary. For instance, the 2015 can get between 50 and 60 miles which is comparable to the Leaf and the e-Golf.
Newer models of the i3 — 2017 onward — have a much longer range and some may be able to hit 100 miles. The charge time is reasonable as well for the newer ones, at just 4.5 hours for a full charge at 220V. Your customers looking for a bargain on a luxury EV would be well-advised to buy the BMW i3 from you.
If you have customers looking for a stylish luxury EV that’s still relatively affordable, the B-Class might be the perfect fit. This car is a great choice for commuters with an EPA-rated range of 87 miles, which translates realistically to about 70 miles for a 2017 model. It charges quickly too, in only three and a half hours at 220V.
Best Used EV Hybrids Under $20,000
Ford Fusion Energi
For people looking for a hybrid option, the Ford Fusion Energi can be a good investment. The 2016 Ford Fusion Energi offers 21 miles of battery range, contributing to a total of 600 miles of range with gas. This means it’s suitable for road trips and other long drives, but people still get some of the benefits of an EV — like saving on gas. The Energi has had much more success than the Ford Focus Electric, which was Ford’s attempt at competing with the Leaf and the i3.
The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid sedan that’s known for being flexible and reliable. Earlier model years (2013 or 2014) of the Volt plug-in hybrid offer about 38 miles of electric and 300 miles of combined range to extend beyond the electric range. Many drivers find it’s good to have the option of filling up the tank if they’re stuck between charges but still benefit from paying less on gas.
The 2017 and 2018 editions of the Volt offer 53 miles of battery charge and 420 miles total, plus an automatic braking option and adaptive cruise control. The newer models can be a good choice to stock for drivers who want those features and some additional electric range.
Older models of the Volt can be found for under $10,000 and newer ones can be found for under $15,000. Simply put, their price point, reliability, and flexibility should make them a popular choice at your dealership.
Best Used All-Electric and Hybrids Over $20,000
Hyundai has a couple of EV offerings that your customers might enjoy driving and find practical.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai’s first all-electric crossover SUV offers a range of 258 miles. 2019 used Konas start in the $20,000 range and offer a host of high-end features. It’s sporty and fun to drive, but it also offers the size and room of a small crossover SUV. Legroom in the back is a bit limited, so it may not be the best choice for people who anticipate tall passengers, and there isn’t adaptive cruise control, but it’s a solid choice for many people.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is a sleek hatchback hybrid that comes with Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain and lifetime battery coverage. Though it has limited backseat and trunk space, it comes in several versions. The most efficient one is comparable to a Toyota Prius. They’re priced starting at $23,000 and have a total range of 700 miles, making them a solid choice for many drivers.
Not to be confused with the Volt, the Bolt is at a higher price point, but boasts 238 miles of EPA-rated range. And it’s still relatively affordable, with 2018 models being sold in the $20,000-$30,000 range.
When it first came out, only high-end EVs like Tesla was offering over 200 miles of range, so the car has been hugely popular. There have been some recall announcements, so be sure to check whether it’s been serviced.
If you can get some of these in your inventory, they’ll be sure to go quickly because of their popularity and the car shortage.
Kia offers a range of EV options, from fully electric to hybrid.
The Kia Niro EV is a practical and stylish choice suitable for families. 2019 saw the introduction of the entirely battery-powered edition of the vehicle, with an impressive range of up to 239 miles. It’s also a practical choice for people on the go as it only takes a little over an hour to charge it to 80% on a DC fast charger. This makes it a great option for commuting, daily errands, pickups from kids’ practice, and more.
Kia Soul EV
A more compact option with a shorter, but still useful range of 111 miles, is the Soul EV. The 2019 model charges super fast on a DC charger. Kelley Blue Book recommends that consumers consider at least the Soul Plus, which starts at $21,430. The Soul EV offers a ton of features and can be a great car for city dwellers.
Teslas have long ranges and there are Tesla chargers widely available, so they’re a great option for people who want a true all-electric option.
Teslas, of course, are generally sold at a higher price point than other cars, but people love them: the 2018 Tesla Model 3, for example, has a 4.7-star rating on Kelly Blue Book. Plus, buying them used can often get them into a more affordable range for folks who want a luxury car, but can’t quite afford it or don’t want a new one.
Used Teslas typically start around $45,000 and can go upwards of $150,000 depending on the model, year, and features. A used Model S tends to be the cheapest option. A used Tesla Model 3 isn’t much cheaper than a new model, but you can sell it to customers who don’t want to wait for a new one.
Tesla Model X
For consumers who want a fully electric SUV, the 2016 Model X is the way to go. While it doesn’t have the most storage space or towing capability, it has about 230 miles of range, and Tesla’s autopilot system gives the car semi-autonomous capability (aka some self-driving features).
Tesla Model S
The Model S is a fast luxury car with all-wheel drive and autonomous capabilities. It does take a long time to charge, which is worth noting. Owners get 400 kWh of supercharging free per year, after which the owner must pay a fee.
Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 is a sedan that offers cool touch-screen technology available to the driver and passengers. Owners need to install a charging station at home. Unlike Model S and Model X owners, Model 3 owners must pay to use Tesla’s supercharging network. Model 3s have varying ranges and offerings, so be sure to learn about the particulars if you decide to add some to your inventory.
For customers looking for an EV with off-road capabilities and a robust 234-mile range, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is a great option. It isn’t equipped for towing, but owners can take a small group of people on tons of adventures with its electric powertrain driving all four wheels, advanced suspension, and a nice suite of driver assistance tools. Like Teslas, these are often $50,000 and up.
For people seeking a stylish, sporty, and environmentally friendly luxury SUV, the Audi e-tron may be a great choice. It does have a shorter range than some of its competitors. On top of that, brake regeneration control can be finicky. However, people may find driving one to be fun: a Kelley Blue Book review describes it as ”smooth, comfortable, and luxurious.” They start at around $75,000 for a used 2019 one.
Best Practices for Sourcing and Selling Used EVs
If you’re considering adding more EVs to your inventory, make sure you have chargers available and the staff is trained properly. Consider where you can set up chargers, how frequently cars need to be charged, and what types of batteries and chargers you’re willing to cater to. Here’s a comprehensive guide from the Electrification Coalition with more details.
If you’re set up to sell EVs already, check out our selection of electric vehicle auctions, and buy cars online today. We look forward to working with you at ACV Auctions! Start finding great inventory by registering below.