Used Electric Car Values: The Winners and Losers

July 10th, 2015 by

Electric cars will certainly be the vehicle of the future, and their increasing popularity is making them relevant in the present. Unfortunately, the car isn’t a realistic choice for many potential buyers.

The cheapest 2015 electric cars, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, are priced around $23,000 to $25,000, but the two are among the smallest vehicles on the market. The more adequately-sized Chevrolet Spark EV, the third-cheapest 2015 electric car, comes in around $27,645. Purchasing a new electric car provides an additional risk, as we don’t have much precedence to suggest a reasonable re-sell value.

Luckily, electric cars are beginning to hit used car lots, and the National Automobile Dealers Association (via their Used Car Guide Perspective) has taken a look at how these cars have retained their value. The next time you visit your local Lexington used car dealer, maybe you’ll be convinced to take a look at the car of the future…


NADA ultimately listed all the electric cars from the past three years, ranking them based on their value retention. Among one-year-old cars, the Tesla Model S topped the list, with an 83.1% retention (from $93,890 MSRP to $$77,983 average trade-in value). A pair of Chevy’s made the list: the Volt (with a 56.1% retention value) and the Spark EV (with a 47.2% retention value). The lowest on the list? That honor belongs to the i-MiEV, which retains less than 35% of it’s value.


When it comes to two-year-old electric vehicles, it’s the Model S topping the list again (71.1% retention value). The Chevy Volt, the lone member of the brand on the list, resells for about 36% of it’s original value. The Ford Focus Electric retains just under 35% of it’s value, the lowest on the list.

Finally, for three-year-old electric vehicles, it’s (surprise, surprise) the Model S again leading the way (57.2%). The Chevy Volt is listed fourth, retaining over 31% of it’s value. The i-MiEV trails the rest of the pack, finishing with a 20.6% retention value.


As you can see, electric cars seem to have relatively solid resell value, and Chevrolet can usually be found in the middle of the pack. While your local Chevy dealership, including Dan Cummins Chevrolet in in Paris, Kentucky, may not have a large variety of electric cars, that will certainly change in the near future. Head down there to get your hands on a used electric car today!