Second-hand electric cars cost more and more

Second-hand electric cars cost more and more

David Cottrell received his $ 39,999 Tesla Model Y last February. The compact electric SUV was a fantastic car, he says. Only a few months later, however, Cottrell decided to put the make and model of the car on the website of an online used car dealer. To his surprise, Tesla was already worth $ 10,000 more than what he and his wife had paid for it. The couple were thinking of buying a house in Seattle, their hometown, and the extra money would certainly have come in handy. In June, they sold the car for $ 51,000, a substantial gain.

Today Cottrell looks back on the transaction with a sense of regret. He loves his new home and is thrilled to have ordered a more spacious Rivian electric van, which is due to be delivered this summer. But when he posted the same Model Y to the used car dealer's website again this month, he found that the car's value had only dropped by $ 2,000 from what he had sold it for, even after calculating the roughly $ 2,000. 30 thousand kilometers more than he had covered in the meantime. "If we had had a chance to keep it, I could have driven it for a year and made roughly the same amount of it," he says.

Price hike WiredLeaks, how to send us an anonymous report In theory, cars should lose value over time. For this reason, used ones are generally less expensive than new ones. But now the situation has changed. In the United States, the deleterious combination of supply shortages due to the pandemic and inflation has caused prices for used cars and vans to soar, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics said rose 35 percent in March over the same time of year. last. For certain used luxury cars, such as Porsches and Corvettes, it's not unusual for the price to exceed the original list cost, says Luke Walch, owner of Green Eyed Motors, a dealership outside Boulder, Colorado that specializes in electric and hybrid vehicles. Now, however, the phenomenon has extended "to ordinary people's cars," he adds.

Things have gotten even stranger in the electric vehicle industry, where used cars seem to be ever more "new" . Data collected by Recurrent, a company that looks after the state of electric vehicle batteries, and automotive data company Marketcheck suggests that most used electric cars on sale in the United States last year were four or five years old. Today, just under a third of used electric vehicles are three years old. Electric vehicles sold in 2020 or 2021 make up 17.5 percent of the inventory. "It's weird," acknowledges Brian Moody, executive director of Autotrader, a site that sells cars online. It's an almost unprecedented situation, he adds.

A used Tesla Model 3 sells for $ 53,998 in California Mario Tama / Getty Images For those hoping to go electric, it's an unfortunate moment. Despite the high prices, electric and hybrid cars are exiting faster than they can get in, Walch says. Carvana, a company that buys and sells used cars online, reports that ninety percent of its electric vehicles are being purchased, up from forty-five percent just over a month ago.

The crisis of the chips and the war in Ukraine The rise of "new used cars" began with the microchip crisis, which has affected car production since 2021. Modern vehicles have at least core chips inside, which are needed to control their complex electronic systems, and particularly elaborate electric vehicles can use up to a thousand of them. But when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, automakers cut their chip sales and purchases forecasts. Microchip makers have started selling their products elsewhere. Car manufacturers no longer had the silicon needed to make the cars and were forced to slow down or even stop production. The chaos has pushed the price of new cars up and pushed cost-conscious shoppers to the second-hand market, which in turn has seen prices soar.

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Arrow The Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russian exports have created new bottlenecks in the supply chain. The price of nickel, a component of some batteries for electric vehicles, fluctuated enormously last month. In addition, soaring gasoline prices in the United States have prompted shoppers to seek out electric cars. "The prices [of electric vehicles, ed.] Had been going up for a while, and then there was the big jump with the war and the high gasoline prices," explains Al Bastanmehr, the owner of Green Light Auto Wholesale, which sells used electric and hybrid vehicles in Daly City, California - it's just crazy. We're at an all-time high. "

The shortage of new and used electric cars - and the temptation for owners to resell them. own Tesla, Ford Mustang Mach-E, or even low-end vehicles like Nissan Leafs - could be set to continue. According to Kelley Blue Book, an automotive research firm, prices for new cars are down slightly, and between February and March they fell by 0.3 percent. But transaction prices involving new vehicles are stable - and even rising - for electric vehicles (which recorded an increase of 1.8 percent over the same time period) and hybrids (8.6 percent). In other words: for the moment the new ecological cars are not getting cheaper.

And here is the big problem facing the electric market: part of the new cars that should have entered the market in 2020 and 2021 they were never produced. This means fewer used cars this year, next year and next. "At some point the prices of new cars will recover, but it will take a long time," explains Scott Case, co-founder and CEO of Recurrent, the company that takes care of the state of the batteries. return to a normal situation ".

This article originally appeared on US.

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