As we enter a time where alternative fuel vehicles are more commonplace, one thing that has not been addressed is potential resale value. This has been one of the big questions, as buyers might be reluctant to take on an already-used battery system. According to one study though, that will not be a problem for the Tesla Model S, which has used prices 20% over new MSRP.
The study was conducted by MA-based iSeeCars.com. They looked at the three most popular green vehicles: the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Tesla Model S. With 58.5 percent of the used electric car market, the Volt is certainly the most popular car, but that figure is down 8.7 percent from 2012. Used sales of the Nissan Leaf is up, to 40.3 percent of sales.
Meanwhile, the Tesla Model S sales grew 1.2 percent– to 1.2 percent of the market. According to “The Tesla Model S is still just a sliver of the used electric car market…However, it seems to be in great demand as used Model S are selling above its new car price.” says Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars. “Surprisingly, the average used Tesla Model S is selling for over $99K which is above the average of its new car MSRP (which according to Edmunds ranges from $71,070 to $94,900).”
The average new Nissan Leaf sells for $32,250, and the used price is $22,828. That means the used price is 29 percent below new MSRP. For the volt, new is $39,145, but used price is 17 percent below new MSRP– selling for $32,516.
But the Model S? The average used selling price is $99,734– 20 percent ABOVE the average new price of $82,985.
One reason for this rise in price is that a majority of used Model S sales have been the top-end P85, with the larger battery pack. Those models left the dealership with a higher base MSRP– more than $100K. Another reason could be that some buyers would rather buy used than have to wait– at times the Model S had a waiting list of a couple months out.
Finally, there is the argument that this car is a “moment in time.” It is a vehicle that encapsulates so many things of our time– the style, the technology, and of course, the green drivetrain. Buyers might be looking to get in on a vehicle that could one day stand to define our time– the way the Camaro and Mustang define the 1960s.