Demand starts to climb for used EVs

November 18, 2016

A growing number of used car buyers are opting for electric vehicles (EV), which is a critical factor in improving their residual values.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the UK reveal that during Q3 2016 sales of used electric vehicles rose by more than 94% from 885 to 1,718.

The number of vehicles is less than 0.1% of used car market volume, which indicates the scale of the change required before EVs become part of the mainstream car market.

However, it indicates that a growing number of early-adopters in the used car market are willing to invest in an EV.

Because sales of new EVs are low (less than 40,000 a year), used car market demand would need to increase to just 1% of volume to account for all the plug-in vehicles registered this year when they return to the used car market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘It is particularly promising to see the growing demand for electric vehicles filter into the used car market. To encourage greater take-up, a more widespread commitment to charging infrastructure is needed.’

More than 2.1 million cars changed hands in the used market during Q3 2016 according to the SMMT, rising 7.9% on the same period last year to achieve a new volume record.

Superminis were the best-selling body type (33.8%) followed by family hatchbacks (27.4%) and saloons (13.4%). More than 60% of all used cars were bought in silver, black and blue.

Although an increase in used car volume reflects a rise in demand, there is also a substantial increase in supply following years of rising new car sales.

As a result, residual values have been under pressure, with declines in several segments, although the fall has been lessened by the impact of improving economic conditions and increasing demand from consumers.


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